Chapter 159: A Secret Meeting

 

I wake up to the same disappointment I have received for a while now. Not that I have any complaints about Desiree, but the moment she begins her attack first thing in the morning, my other winged beauty flees quickly from the bed in her sensual and revealing nightwear that I has turned into an impenetrable barrier that I cannot pass.

Were it not for Desiree’s insatiable appetite for me, even going as far to enter my dreams to continue the pursuit of her desires, then Angela’s behavior would be something I could not overlook, but as it stands, this angelic beauty that has graced my bed for over a month, and has still managed to be able to dodge me.

Even by herself Desiree has managed to outperform any of my previous entourages as a whole, and this morning is no different as she draws my attention away from Angela long enough that the time in which I am set to meet with Madam Erin draws near.

Once exiting from my bed Angela presents me with some clothing while she adverts her gaze while blushing. Meanwhile Desiree writhes in bed and uses her abilities to try to coerce me to return. My abilities could easily prevent hers from working at all, but I have quickly found letting her root around in parts of my head that I deem safe, is quite beneficial.

I do however block her power of suggestion, but even if the magic behind the words she places in my head are blocked, the words themselves are enough to make me pause, as they are quite intriguing on their own.

“We will do all those things upon my return, but until then perhaps you could further try to convince Angela to join us before then.”

Desiree: “You already know that task is beyond my ability, our previous Master saw to it, that nothing but her own desire can convince her.”

Angela: “I’m sorry Master, but I’m just not ready yet…”

“I have put up with you this long, but the agreement between Two-Twelve and I states that I can’t force anything on you, and I’m required to take care of you, but my patience will eventually wear thin. This castle is a large place, and I can send you to any part of it in which you will be out of sight and out of mind. You will still be well taken care of, but if you wish to remain by my side it will take more than being next to me.”

Angela: “I’m sorry Master, but I understand you will do what you must…”

I sigh and grab my shirt away from Angela’s hand.  The outfit she presented me with is not that of my normal clothing, but that I have specifically for these meetings I have been having with Madam Erin. After putting the outfit on, I take a small ring in which I was provided with, and place it on my finger.

The ring alters my shape to that of a young scraggly man, and between the look and the clothing I look as some young farm hand. After seeing to everything and making sure it is as it should be I then depart.

Shortly afterwards I enter a small tavern in a village in the middle of nowhere, at one of the tables sits an attractive, but nervous young woman.

The woman’s attractiveness makes me uneasy as I approach the young woman and say. “I won’t ever get used to you looking like that. It is quite a shame after knowing what kind of monstrosity hides in that body.”

Madam Erin: “Well if the body interests you then I could let you could give it a go.”

“It’s not the body that is a problem but the thing inside of it.”

Madam Erin:  “And here I thought you were more superficial then an “It’s what is on the inside that counts” kind of guy.”

“That may be, but in your case I will make an exception…”

Madam Erin:  “Well if you change your mind I would be happy to oblige you, now are you sure nobody knows of your arrival here?”

“My entourage knows about my meeting with you, and of my appearance, but not of yours or where we are said to be meeting.”

Madam Erin: “Are you sure that is wise? You have let assassins into your entourage before.”

“I seriously doubt the two from Two-Twelve are assassins.”

Madam Erin: “After this much time has passed you have still kept it at only the two? That’s not like you…”

“If you want to get technical it is still just the one, because the other has still managed to dodge me all this time, but you can’t lump the ones I received from Two-Twelve with that of my old entourages.”

Madam Erin: “You holding to just one woman, that is something I never thought I would see.”

“Once you taste the finest wine, it is hard to go back to just normal swill, and for that reason alone I have yet to give up on the second one. Now, enough about all that, what is it you wanted?”

Madam Erin: “Have you not found any new information?”

“I haven’t received any reports of any new dungeons in Adra, so it must be one of the old existing dungeons that the others have just started to add their imitation crystals to.”

Madam Erin: “That means at least one of them is using their primary dungeon. The Dungeon Core Information might not update any longer, but we should at least be able to use it to narrow it down to the hundred or so dungeon cores that currently have their dungeon in the Adra mountain range.”

“We have also learned that all of Draco’s secondary dungeons that we know of, have collapsed, but there is no way to know if his primary is gone as well unless we enter the volcano ourselves, or if he has another secondary dungeon stashed away somewhere that nobody knew about. What about Two-Twelve?”

Madam Erin: “He has been a lot more careful recently, and even the ones we have placed in Tobes have been able to only catch a few glimpses of him here and there. We still don’t know how he created another dungeon core either, but she does seem to be the Ceres he told us about, and neither one are giving up any further information about it..”

“I don’t know how Two-Twelve managed to do it, but I think if there is any more solid proof that Draco is indeed dead, it’s the fact that [Menu] replaced his number with another dungeon core.”

Madam Erin: “But if she was one of the old gods that leaves far more questions than answers. She does appear to be building a dungeon, if you want to call it that, and it is right next to Two-Twelve’s secondary dungeon.”

“What of his plan to unite the other dungeon cores?”

Madam Erin: “That was the reason I asked you to come here. Apparently yesterday [Menu] gave him the ability to communicate with multiple cores at once.”

“Are you sure?”

Madam Erin: “There was chatter about it all evening yesterday. Apparently it even allows visual communication, and he is supposed to start speaking with the members of his little group today…”

“If that is true, the traitors might be behind it… If they manipulated [Menu] enough to do something like that, they could use that kind of communication as a way to teleport into other’s dungeons, using it like I use [Observation].”

Madam Erin: “Or maybe Two-Twelve is right, and we are the ones being foolish…”

“Even if he does have the old gods on his side, he is still young and weak… That means we are just going to have pick up the pace before he digs himself into a hole there is no escaping from. I am going to personally check out Draco’s dungeon to find out if it is still there or not.”

Madam Erin: “You have to be kidding… Draco was barely behind me in power, and if he is still alive that means he is part of the traitors. If he has received a boost like Rosalinda, Luther, or Abigail, then there is no telling how strong he has now become.”

“Even more reason to face him before he gains any more strength.”

Madam Erin: “So much for leaving Two-Twelve to his own devices…”

“You might have come down hard on him, but you can’t sit there and tell me that you put that group in his city to spy on his actions, for any other reason than to let you know if he is in danger.”

Madam Erin: “And you are saying your sudden spur of the moment action is anything less then you, yourself trying to protect him?”

“I have no reservations in saying that I have a vested interest in Two-Twelve’s continued survival. Besides now that I have tasted the wine, I may need more bottles someday, and he is the only winemaker I know.”

Madam Erin: “You can use that excuse if you want, but we both know there is far more to it than that.”

“I think it is fair to say neither one of us would like to see him come to any harm.”

Madam Erin nods and then says. “Then if Draco’s dungeon is still there what are you going to do from there?”

“At this point I just want to find out once and for all if Draco is still alive or not. If his dungeon is still there we will have to find some quick means to deal with him, because since all this manipulation of [Menu] has been going on, [Observation] has been rather useless. I missed the window of opportunity I had to look in on Draco’s dungeon after [Menu] displayed his death, but even now that a new Dungeon Core #5 has been made I am still unable to look in on that dungeon core #.”

Madam Erin: “She is one of the old gods that made [Menu] according to Two-Twelve, so she may also have a means to block the use of your [Observation].”

“If she is capable of controlling our [Menu]s like that then why hasn’t she stopped the others yet?”

Madam Erin: “Two-Twelve said that even the old gods have rules they have to follow. Maybe her becoming a dungeon core was a way for her to do just that, but unless we can get any more information out of them, I just don’t know.”

Our conversation continues for a while as we try to come up with an idea for dealing with Draco if he proves to be alive, and a way to gather more information on Two-Twelve and this new dungeon core #5 without them knowing about it. We then set the location for our next meeting, and then depart. Once returning to my own dungeon I quickly start preparing for a trip to Adra.

Desiree: “But you promised you would return to bed after your return.”

“The situation has changed, and there is a matter I must address quickly.”

Desiree: “Surely not quickly enough that you cannot delay your departure for a while.” –She says while filling my mind with lustful thoughts.-

“Well I guess a bit of time won’t hurt…”

 

○○○○○○

My first meeting with the first group, of the dungeon cores goes without any problems, but most of these cores are those I am close to, and over the course of the next few days I do no less than 10 meetings over [Advanced Communication].

They all amounted to basic introductions, and it will still take a lot more before I can start earning their trust, but I can now at least put faces to all the names. That however, only seems to make it sting more when we all receive a message that results in the death of one more from my group.

Out of all the dungeon cores that are left alive having 3 of them targeted within my small group is sure to be more than a coincidence, but so far I haven’t had any members outright quit on me yet. I also have to acknowledge at least one of these dungeon cores I have talked to is more than likely part of those trying to kill us.

As a safety precaution when I hold the meetings I do it from the neutral zone to prevent anyone from teleporting to me to cause me harm, but I wish I could offer the same safety to the ones I am speaking to.

I am also keeping an eye on all the members through the [Archjusticar Menu] but there is only so many I can look into each day, and instead of making progress, it seems like I am just stuck…

The next few weeks pass quickly, the snow around town has begun to melt, and although we get a few light flurries of snow every few days, winter looks to be on its last leg, as is Roxy’s pregnancy.

Rory has begun to sleep through the night on most nights giving Belinda and me a bit more time to ourselves, and on some nights that means we actually are able to get a bit more sleep.

Ceres’s dungeon has really taken off, but the time between buildings being placed has begun to slow down, and I think she has finally started to add things to her dungeon where ever she has hidden her crystal at.

I am glad she is starting to take this seriously, but she still has not taken me up on any offers of going out to train, although she has already gained a few more levels just by her extremely high xp consumption. The only staff her university has acquired so far is a few of the locals, my two scholars, and even Sofia has agreed to move her training to Ceres’s dungeon once the university gets up and running.

Ceres has said that she has received word that quite a few of her other staff members have begun their trek and are anticipated to start trickling in within the next month or so.

As for our royal guests, their training is almost reached completion and they have already begun to prepare for their first excursion into my dungeon. Tanya never did get over her fear of getting hit, but with Ceres’s assistance Tanya has seemed to work things out.

Her class is that of a tamer, which one I haven’t heard of before, but apparently it is quite common in Dalian, although it works a bit differently there, but forgoing most physical combat herself she instead sends tamed beasts in her stead. The beasts she is currently using are a juvenile bear, and a large cat that Ceres told her she summoned with magic, but I am sure they are just dungeon monsters.

I am not sure if it is because of Tanya’s class, or the fact of the beasts being dungeon monsters, but they listen to Tanya without fail. That allows her to remain in the back of the group with her husband while directing their entire group from the rear, which seems to suit her pretty well.

As for their group, other than Tanya, Exavier, the two beasts, and the beastkin girl Sandra, that Dyson sent to Tobes, their only other member is a local boy that doesn’t seem to have his heart into as much as he should.

That should get them through training in the dungeon for a while at least, but I don’t think the local boy is going to stick it out once the danger starts. Especially with the fact that once Sandra took the magic aptitude test she seemed far more suited for a mage’s role than that of the equipment Dyson gave her, which left the local boy their only front line fighter along with Tanya’s beasts.

Sandra seemed exceedingly gifted in healing magic, so it might work out in the end, as long as once combat starts, Tanya is still able to keep a cool head enough to command her two beasts.

I, myself have been pretty busy in the dungeon, with the addition of [Advanced Communication] I no longer had to worry about saving up all that xp for use of the portals, so I have actually started to be able to begin to expand my dungeon again.

The ore veins never seemed to draw much attention, so I remove the ore veins and instead make them entryways to a pair of massive grass covered rooms complete with small stream in each one. They don’t look quite as good as Inari’s because I am unable to make the artificial sunlight, but they should serve their purpose.

So far the gnomes have only interacted with the soldiers, because their little makeshift village was in the area closed off to everyone but the soldiers, but with the addition of these new grassy rooms I move their village up to one, while putting in rifts of livestock like animals in the other.

I also take the opportunity to add a few more types of demi-humans to the village, including a couple of sentient lizardmen, some of the sylphs I learned to summon from Maeve, and even a few of the sentient imps and gremlins, but even with the small size they are quite intimidating in appearance, so like the lizardmen I only summon a few of them. The sylphs on the other hand I summon enough to equal the amount of gnomes.

The gnomes had become common knowledge to Tobes, even if after the dungeon was “healed” no one but the soldiers seen them afterwards, but the addition of the other demi-humans has caused quite a stir.

I am a bit worried now that the normal adventurers will be able to interact with the demi-humans, but if we don’t take this step at some point nothing will change. The protection that was placed at the Adventurer’s Guild concerning the gnomes is extended to the other races, but now we just have to see if the normal adventurers will adhere to it or not.

The lizardmen seem a fair bit more intelligent than the gnomes, but they have the same difficulty with trying to communicate with humans, but the other races don’t seem to have any trouble at all. The humans don’t try to interact with the gremlins or imps much, but the sylph communicate well enough that there have been even some of the non-adventurers from Tobes come up to the dungeon just to have a chance to speak with them.

The new demi-humans in the gnome village claim they can’t communicate with the dungeon in the way the gnomes do, and they only arrived after hearing about the gnomes making the village in the dungeon. They claim they lost their own villages, and came here to ask the gnomes for help, in which the gnomes happily provided.

The result of which was the dungeon providing more room and food for the gnomes and in turn for the newcomers. The addition of the livestock was also a big hit with Tobes, and the gnomes explained that the dungeon provided it for their village, but since the dungeon provides too much that the humans can take it as well.

The humans still won’t take any meat from the dungeon unless they harvest it from the animals themselves, but it has led to a few of the old hunters to become butchers, gathering the meat from the dungeon.

That means it doesn’t provide me with any additional xp, but the access to larger quantities of fresh meat has helped the impression the townsfolk have of the demi-humans. I am still having the demi-humans keep to the dungeon for now though. I want to make sure the humans get much more comfortable with them before I risk letting any of them go down to Tobes.

The Demi-human village wasn’t the only change in my dungeon either. Once the shock of the Demi-humans wore off, I got quite a shock myself when I added a sub-level 10 to my dungeon. Not only did I finally increase the size of my crystal, but the cost of adding rooms to sub-level 10 and lower are double.

Luckily monster’s costs are the same, and monsters have always been the most expensive part of adding a new area to the dungeon, but I was still unprepared for the additional cost. The increase in size of my crystal also means if I get the chance I can make another one of my special boss monsters.

I don’t want to add much to that floor until I have a clear idea on how I want the layout of it, but it has seemed that my labyrinths are my most effective deterrent, so maybe I should come up with another unique one.

While trying to come up with a new unique labyrinth however I receive a message to come quick that Roxy has gone into labor. Once I transfer down to their house Zoey is lounging around without a care…

“Didn’t you hear? Your wife just went into to labor.”

Zoey: “Of course I know, I was with up until a few minutes ago.”

“Then what are you just sitting around for, aren’t you the least bit concerned?”

Zoey: “I told you when Rory was born, you worry too much. Belinda and the midwife are with her, so it isn’t anything they can’t handle.”

“Healing magic is great, but there is still a chance something could go wrong. You can’t just heal the baby out of her if something goes wrong and it gets stuck or something…”

Zoey: “After all the things we have done in bed, trust me nothing is getting stuck.”

“but I am sure a baby is quite a bit larger…” –As I say it I instantly regret it because Zoey actually seems to be thinking about it.- “ You know what… Never mind I don’t want to know.”

Zoey: “I’m only joking boss. Roxy would never let my try using something that big!”

“You make that sound like not for you lack of trying, but for my sanity let’s just change the subject… If you are not worried, then maybe you can tell me if you and Roxy came up with for a name for the baby.”

Zoey: “Roxy is sure that it is going to be a girl, and I just know it’s going to be a boy, so we came to agreement, we will call him Wolfric, and when then when we have a girl Roxy can name her then.”

“Roxy actually agreed to that…?”

Zoey: “That’s the brilliance of it! She is so sure it is going to be a girl she said yes!”

“Your child is either going to be a wolf or a dog beastkin, don’t you think putting wolf in his name is going a bit far…?”

Zoey: “Thanks boss, but like I am going to get naming advice from someone named Two-Twelve!” –She says with a smirk.-

“Well for the child’s sake I hope Roxy was right about it being a girl…”

Zoey: “OH! And once he is born we want you to add Wolfric to your dungeon.”

“Are you sure? That is a pretty big decision. With everything going on that could put your child at risk.”

Zoey: “We trust in you and besides adding the baby at birth is easy, but you would be unable to add him to the dungeon until he is old enough to decide on his own if we don’t do it at birth.”

“It seems like there is far too much risk with no reward to add him before he is old enough to make the decision for himself though.”

Zoey: “Are you kidding…? Not having to feed him or change him in the middle of the night is reason enough on its own!”

“You are not willing to risk you child’s life just so you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night…Are you?”

Before Zoey answers Kline and Scylla quickly enter while carrying Listel and Rory. Scylla hands me Rory as she says. “Belinda left her with us when she heard, but we still had a few things to wrap up with before we could come by as well.” She then turns to Zoey and ask her. “How you holding up?”

“She is just fine… She even wants me to add the baby to the dungeon when it’s born just so she doesn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night.”

Scylla: “I’m sure that isn’t true… When I talked to Roxy about it the other day she seemed to think it would be quite the honor if you would bind the baby to the dungeon like you did for us.”

Zoey: “That’s right! See Roxy agreed with me, she just wants us to all be part of the family!”

“You know your baby will still part of the family even if you are not bound to the dungeon though.”

Zoey: “But it would still mean a lot to Roxy if you did.”

“And you are sure Roxy was ok with it?”

Scylla: “I’m sure, we talked a great deal about it, and she said she was going to talk to you about it as well, but I guess she ran out of time.”

“Alright, I will bind it when [Menu] asks me, but I am still hoping you will get a girl…”

Zoey: “Come on boss! Wolfric is a good name!”

We sit and wait for any news about the baby, and even after a few hours pass we still haven’t heard anything yet. Rory is starting to get pretty fussy, but when Scylla offers to stay with Roxy so Belinda can come feed Rory, I receive a message.

Dungeon Boss Monster [Roxy] has given birth. Binding Divine Beastkin (Wolf) at birth will cost 10,000xp. Would you like to bind the offspring.

“I just got a message Zoey, your baby has been born… Are you sure you want to bind it to the dungeon.”

Zoey jumps up with the first bit of nervousness she has shown the entire time. “Yes of course! Is it a boy?”

I accept the binding of the baby and say. “The message doesn’t say, just that it is a wolf divine beastkin, so it looks like it took after Roxy on race at least.”

I receive another message, but before I get a chance to look at it the door quickly opens and Belinda says. “Two-Twelve! We might have a problem.”

Zoey looks worried for the first time, but Belinda quickly apologizes and says. “I’m sorry Zoey, your son is fine, and so is Roxy, but…” –She moves over and says quietly.- “The baby changed like when you make a boss monster right in the midwife’s arms.”

I quickly turn my attention to the screen I didn’t get the chance to read.

 

New Monster Available

Celestial Beastkin (Wolf)                             Cost: 1,000,000xp

 

“My new boss monster… I had no way of knowing it would work on the baby like that.”

Zoey: “Alright! Not only does my son get to stay part of the dungeon, but he even gets to be a boss monster!?”

Belinda: “Zoey, quiet down… What are we going to do?”

“We will just have to talk to her…”

Belinda takes Zoey as they re-enter the room, and after a while Belinda exits the room with the midwife who looks pretty shaken. We sit her down and tell her that I have a unique skill that was the cause of what happened.

I don’t know how well we managed to convince her but she seems to accept our explanation, but when she leaves she looks at us rather warily.

Belinda: “You think it is going to be alright?”

“It’s no stranger then buildings popping up out of nowhere, so I think we will be ok, but even using magic as an excuse for everything, eventually they are going to put all the pieces together all the similarities between me and the dungeon.”

Belinda: “Hopefully by then the dungeon has garnered enough trust that they will accept it. You are the one that is always saying how quickly humans adapt.”

“Well, what about Roxy and Zoey’s baby? You said it was a boy, but that’s all.”

Belinda then checks with Roxy to see if she is ready for guests and then we all get to meet the baby. Roxy is hesitant but she finally caves and lets Zoey name him Wolfric. Being an infant it is hard to tell, how much different a celestial beastkin is going to be compared to a divine one, but he seems to have lots of silvery grey hair and fur in quantities that is a bit much even for what a feral beastkin would have. I guess time will only tell how much of it he grows into.

I think it might be a good thing he took after Roxy rather than Zoey, because for all his hair and fur as a normal beastkin I think his appearance would have been close to that of a werewolf if he was a feral beastkin…

Even though Wolfric is bound to the dungeon Roxy still feeds him, and it seems to garner mixed feelings with Zoey, but she states that he better share causing everyone to laugh. I don’t make it back to working on the dungeon that afternoon, and spend the rest of the day with my family.

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