Even before the traitorous dungeon cores were around I often dealt with would-be assassins trying to take me out. It just goes with the territory when you are the king of a city known as the largest collection of murderers and brigands in all the land. Most of the would-be assassins are female, working their way into the castle by joining my entourage, but as I haven’t accepted any new members in quite a while I had almost forgot about the threat.
That is until one of the far less common events of a male assassin managed to worm his way into my castle and try to slit my throat in my sleep. He of course fails, and for entering my castle and violating the sanctity of my bedroom, there isn’t enough left of him to even recognize it was once a human.
I have a special bit of torture for men entering the innermost sections of my castle, and you would be surprised how much torture a human can survive while being completely submerged in a couple hundred thousands of gold worth of healing potion.
Once your body takes in so much healing potion that you are essentially more potion then man, the body actually begins to break down of its own accord. He seemed to be of a relatively high level though because he really gave it a good fight holding on till the end.
His intrusion however gave me much needed insight. Often would-be assassins try to use gases, large area type magic, or the like because they think it is as simple as if they don’t miss me then they will kill me.
They are always of course dead wrong, but often enough quite a few members of my entourage pay the price. In the past I just wrote them off and replaced them, but this assassin tried an area type attack rather than an attack targeted directly at me, I could have lost my non-replaceable girls.
This of course didn’t sit well with me, so once the would-be assassin was dealt with I decide on a course of action.
Angela: “Master, you…You want us to fight…?”
“If you choose to fight or not is irrelevant, but you will at least be required to come along, so you can gain enough levels, that if another would-be assassin shows up you are not going to keel over at the first sign of danger.”
Desiree: “To be able to watch Master in action will give me pleasure beyond no other.” –She says while filling my head with images after emphasizing on the word pleasure.-
“Your race alone already makes you quite powerful, but that also means you do not have a class making your acquisition of more levels quite a bit more difficult, but Angela on the other hand will have to start from scratch, so we shall see what she has available to her.”
Angela: “I couldn’t bear to do nothing while Master risks his life for me, so I would like to focus on ranged attacks, that way even while Master protects me I can at least be of some assistance.”
“I find the likelihood of my life being at risk very slim, but actually participating will enable you to gain quite a bit more xp…” –I say while opening [Menu] to Angela’s status screen and choosing to assign a class.-
I go through the list of classes available to Angela, and just like our sex life, her potential is excellent, but grasping it is just out of reach. Any kind of mage class seems out of the question, but she does have a little bit of magical potential.
She said she wanted to be ranged, but the only available class as ranged is a simple archer, she does have a rare type of spear wielding class that can be used as a ranged class once she levels up. That is as long as that small bit of magic she has, increases along with it. It will work much better in bringing out her potential then just a simple archer, so I choose that one for her.
Next is gearing them up for combat, for Angela I summon her a set of my signature armor worn by my women, which compliments her wings magnificently, and even a dungeon core like myself is only capable of summoning armor made of mythril, so until I can have a better set of gear made specifically for her, this will have to do.
With enough time I could make her an armor of higher quality then I could summon, but it would still be made from mythril, so I see little point in it. Even with our falling out, the agreement between Two-Twelve and I is still valid, if he hadn’t disappeared, to gods only know where, I could have him make a set of armor like the set he acquired from our fight in Merretta.
Now that her armor is taken care of I need to get her a weapon. If her magic pans out she will quickly be able to solve that problem herself, but until then I summon a good mythril glaive, but to give her a bit of the ranged combat she wants I summon a quiver full of javelins as well.
That should take care of Angela, but now for Desiree. As I don’t have the ability to summon succubi, I don’t have any types of equipment specifically for them. She should be able to wear varies types of monster gear, but most of that would cover her most valuable assists.
[Menu] will not allow me to equip her in normal gear even if her build is pretty similar to that of Angela. I could make another set for Angela and have Desiree equip it manually, but the size wouldn’t be quite right and I think it would be best to consult an expert. With Madam Erin’s expertise with succubi I send her a message.
Madam Erin: (Why yes I can make gear for succubi, but if you are trying to get your kink on in new ways I am sure there is a far easier way then this.)
(I am not speaking of equipment for the bedroom, I am speaking for actual combat gear.)
Madam Erin: (What exactly is it you are planning…?)
(It is simple, my entourage needs to have the ability to protect themselves.)
Madam Erin: (You have never cared before if they could fend for themselves.)
(You know as well as I do that this entourage is non-replaceable.)
Madam Erin: (You have had that succubus from Two-Twelve for quite a while, if I didn’t know you any better I would say you are actually getting attached.)
(Can you help me, or not?)
Madam Erin: (I am sure I can come up with something, but it is going to cost you.)
(Very well, we will meet at the neutral zone to discuss terms.)
I plan on starting the girls training immediately. I have Angela equip her gear, so we can leave directly from the neutral zone. Seeing Angela in my signature armor surprisingly makes me want her more than when she wears that revealing evening gown she wears to bed.
Desiree has been suggesting I try a different tactic on Angela, and my prowess in combat has been able to cause more than a few women to swoon. Maybe this will be just the thing she needs, to make her unequivocally mine.
After equipping my own armor we arrive at the neutral zone and I find that Madam Erin has already arrived. She wears a confused expression as she greets me. “Well I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it with my own two eyes, and here I was thinking this might have been some kind of trap, but here you are, armor and all, so it must be you.”
“Yes, yes, now the equipment? You can understand that I want to be sure it is what I am looking for before we negotiate a price.”
Madam Erin: “Now that sounds a bit more like you, very well…” –She says while opening her [Menu] and going through it.- “Now I am guessing since you didn’t just use standard monster armor, you want something quite specific, but that still leaves us several options, just how well equipped are we talking here?”
“You know I do not settle for second best, I need the best you are capable of producing.”
Madam Erin: “For yourself maybe, but your entourage? You really have grown attached to them.”
“I am simply protecting my property.”
Madam Erin: “If you say so…” –She says while she finishes in [Menu] summoning a set of armor.- “This is the best set of heavy armor that is made specifically for a succubus.”
Desiree is currently wearing a set of clothing I had Madam Erin produce for her a while back, but even in its own scantily clad nature, it appears to be too much to be worn along with the armor, so she quickly strips down as she dons the armor. The armor wraps around her like her own wings except it is made from Orichalcum that has been dyed to such a dark crimson color that if it was any darker it would turn as black as my armor. It even has its own helm if you want to call it that, it is more like a circlet.
Madam Erin said this was a heavy armor, and being made from Orichalcum that is far more than I am able to summon on my own, but maybe due to it being succubus armor it leaves so much skin exposed It can’t even be considered clothing much less be considered a functional suit of armor.
“Orichalcum is very impressive indeed, but I hardly call that heavy armor. Do you have nothing else that could offer her better protection?”
Madam Erin: “Now I really have seen it all, Dyson asking for a woman to be more clothed.”
“Her “assets” are very important to me, and it would be a shame for them to be damaged in combat.”
Madam Erin: “You did ask for succubus armor. Now this might be unconventional, but in theory it should work giving that the succubus armor is considered heavy armor.” –She says while accessing her [Menu] again.-
She then summons a full body suit of Arachne Empress silk, which is softer than normal silk, but just as tough as dragon-hide, and after instructing Desiree to put it on she strips down again to put on the silken bodysuit.
It fits her like a second skin leaving nothing to the imagination. Once she reequips the armor it gives her the same sensual appearance while still offering the protection equal to that of dragon-hide. With the armor on over the silken bodysuit is so close to her natural caramel colored skin tone that it is practically impossible to tell she is wearing anything at all under the armor.
Madam Erin: “How’s that?”
Desiree: “It feels stifling… is the bodysuit really necessary? The armor should be more than enough.”
“It’s armor, it’s meant to be restrictive, and I think that will work out fine. Now, as for a weapon, I am sure I can summon something she could use, but I would bet you can summon something a bit more specialized for a succubus.”
Madam Erin: “A succubus has no weapon restrictions, but if you are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, but still within the typical whip-like weapon for a succubus, I might have just the thing. Maric once came to me asking for something special for Hecate, and we came up with a pair of swords that might be just the thing you are looking for.
“I have seen her use her whip-blades once and I think that would work perfectly for Desiree.”
Madam Erin: “Double the blades will be double the cost.”
“You know I am good for it.”
Madam Erin: “If you insist…” –She says manipulating the screen in front of her.-
Madam Erin didn’t spare any expense and even though I only saw Hecate use her weapons once, and it was years ago, I think these two are superior to the ones Hecate wields.
Once being presented with the weapons Desiree handles them quite awkwardly, but with practice she should be able to work it out. Between the weapons and the armor Desiree looks quite magnificent, enough so that any adventurer would struggle between either pissing themselves or creaming themselves just by laying their eyes on her.
Madam Erin: “Now that you are satisfied, as for the payment. Now orichalcum is no adamantium, but it is the closest you’re going to get.”
“Between the weapons and armor you are looking at… About 70,000xp and that is being generous, and then you add the Arachne Empress silk bodysuit on top which would double that price, so 210,000xp, and for your trouble we will call it a quarter million xp.”
Madam Erin seems quite surprised by my offer as she says. “Alright, I want to keep a closer eye on what is going on in Tobes between Two-Twelve and this Ceres, so if you are being so generous how about trade for 6 of your humans. I don’t feel like bothering in training them up, so start them out at level 20.”
“Even giving them standard classes that would be 300,000xp, how about 4 of them?”
Madam Erin: “You already offered 250,00xp, so how about 5 and you make 2 of them with above standard classes?”
“5 and 1 above standard class, or take the 250,000xp in a xp jewel.”
Madam Erin: “Deal. Now, the human women you summon, their appearance will give them away to where they are from, especially if it is an entire group, but your limits to classes for the men will leave a lopsided group. Maybe we can get by with one women undetected if she is with a group of men, so make the above standard class a good female mage, and the rest men.”
I open my [Menu] and summon two human vagabonds, one human bandit, and one human thief, for the female I select the thaumaturge class, and I know it will do me little good, but try to make her appearance as far removed from Sofia as possible.
The human males turn out just about as expected, with the vagabonds being a pair of burly men, with the thief at the other end appearing more agile then muscular, and the bandit is somewhere in-between. The female however came out very differently than I expected.
I have been summoning humans for years and years, but no matter how I tried the woman always came out similar, their hair may be different color and their builds might slightly differ, but their faces have always been a poor recreation of Sofia…
I have tried to make women that appear nothing like her in the past, but they always still bore some resemblance to her, but this woman… When I focused on making her as far removed from Sofia as I could, she really was.
Her class may be that of a healer, but by her appearance you would think her more apt for being some cackling witch in a forest. I receive a warning that allows me to choose if I want her to have the [Dyson’s Girl] skill as it will result in a negative ranking, which its description it told me that such a thing was possible, but I have not actually ever experienced it before.
With her appearance I don’t see it ever being possible for her to even break even much less a positive number in the skill so I deny her it. Even the men that I summon being of such a low morale character turn to avoid looking at her unclothed body.
Madam Erin: “Well not at all what I was expecting, but this should work out. This only makes me wonder even more, what is your deal today?” –She says while draping a robe over the homely looking woman.-
I then summon some clothing for the men and toss it to them while saying. “I don’t know what you are talking about, you said you wanted her to not appear like she came from my dungeon, and I think it is clear no one would expect her to have come from my dungeon.”
Madam Erin: “I would go as far to say it has been going on longer than just today. First you get rid of your entire entourage, replacing it with a single succubus, and then there is the beastkin. You have always made it quite adamant that no beastkin woman would ever be good enough, and now look at you.”
“Angela’s race might be that of beastkin, but with her only characteristic being those wings of hers, she is hardly the kind of beastkin I was talking about.”
Madam Erin: “And the beastkin woman in Tobes? Don’t think I didn’t see the way you were looking at her, and yet you did your best to stay out of her view even though you were disguised.”
“Sandra is none of your concern.” –I then transfer ownership of the 5 humans over to Madam Erin.- “Now, I take it our trade is complete, and we have matters to take care of, so we will be on our way.”
Madam Erin seems deep in thought as she says. “Fine, if you insist.” She then turns to the humans and leads them from the room.
Angela: “I am sorry Master, I should have told her that we don’t have that kind of relationship, and you wouldn’t have had to gone though that on my behalf…”
Desiree: “I am sure if you had said anything it would have actually made matters far worse, but I am curious about this Sandra. I have rooted around in your head enough to know that name, but she is one of the things you are keeping from me. If she is that important to you, why not have her join us?”
“She is not important, but what she taught me was. The desire I feel for her is not the kind I need to embrace, but discard.”
Desiree: “Desire is desire, there is no desire that needs discarding, if Master wants it, he should have it.”
“Then perhaps you will have her take your place at my side, as if she is there I won’t need you any longer.”
Desiree looks worried for a second before she says. “Then perhaps you are right, some desires should be discarded.”
“I thought you would feel that way, now Angela on the other hand, that is a desire I would much like to experience, and wearing my signature armor like that makes me want you all the more.”
Angela blushes deeply as she says. “Thank you Master, I really appreciate it…But I’m sorry I…I can’t.”
“Just remember I won’t wait forever. Now, we are geared for battle so shall we?”
Desiree: “Of course.”
Angela: “I am a little scared, but if Master is there to protect me, then yes…”
Without another word we teleport from the neutral zone.
What started off as a get-together with Inari turned out into a large ordeal. Belinda and Inari were excited to see each other again and Inari was happy to meet Rory, and I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Ceres invited herself to join in.
Somehow though the other girls have gotten wind of our little get together, and I have somehow been tasked with heading to Maeve’s dungeon to pick them up. I arrive at Maeve’s dungeon and find it as a place I barely recognize.
The tranquil meadow I usually arrive in looks more like a battlefield, with divots in the dirt, scorch marks among the grass, and just a sense of disarray. The buildings off to the side of the meadow seem even further away now, and the entire island seems quite larger.
One of the small islands off to the side of the central island appears to have been taken over by large trees and it is hard to make out the ruins held within them. The island off to the other side however is not obscured by trees but by stone.
Twilight surrounded the island with tall stone walls when she first took over the island, but now instead of just a solid wall with towers at certain points, the entire wall has become a rampart with varies kinds of defensive features at the top of the walls. The makings of a large castle like building can also be seen starting to take shape over the walls.
I make my way towards the village and I am met by the three girls, all of which appearing in human form, and although Dawn seems perfectly content, Twilight doesn’t seem happy about it. Dawn quickly gives me a hug, and Twilight reluctantly does the same, Maeve however just stands nearby.
Dawn: “When aunt Ceres told us of the get-together you were having today we were all quite excited!”
“Not that I mind you all coming by the house, but I was wondering how you learned about Inari’s visit. Although I am not sure how I feel about you calling Ceres, aunt Ceres, and her sticking her nose into my dungeon’s affairs…”
Maeve: “She is as bad as Mother, insisting that we called her aunt Ceres during our meetings, and speaking of Mother she seemed quite excited to have us attend as well, so she may have had a hand in inviting us as well.”
“As long as it is just you three I don’t really mind, but I hope it wasn’t a mistake making Ceres a dungeon core and even more so, by making her one of my justicars.”
Maeve: “I have a feeling you might have dug yourself into a hole with aunt Ceres. I don’t know how much she told you about what has happened while you were gone, but she has already made herself pretty invaluable among some of the other dungeon cores within your group. It won’t be easy to just shut her out now if she starts becoming a problem.”
Dawn: “I like her! The human adventurers that she gave me have been really helpful!”
“She gave you a group of humans?”
Maeve: “You didn’t know…?”
“She failed to mention that part.”
Twilight: “She has given quite a few of the dungeons a group of humans already. I am a little worried it could just be a way to gather information from all of our dungeons, but she only gave groups to those to promised to treat them respectfully, and she said we could either instruct them to stay away from sensitive areas of our dungeons, or even bind them to our own dungeons if we wanted to.”
Maeve: “That doesn’t mean she isn’t using an ultimate command placed on them to gather information, but if you saw some of the other things she has done for some of the dungeon cores, then it makes it far easier to believe she just wants to help.”
“How as she able to transport the groups of humans? She didn’t say anything about regaining her ability to teleport.”
Dawn: “Mama brought them to us!”
“She has been using Belinda?!”
Maeve: “I don’t know about the others, but Mother was the one that brought our groups to us…”
“This is quickly getting out of hand…”
Dawn: “Please Papa, don’t be upset. The groups have really been a big help to our dungeons.”
“Again it isn’t you three that are a problem, but if she used Belinda’s [Gate] to transport the others as well it could have put Belinda or my dungeon in a lot of danger. We can’t trust all of the dungeons in our group after all.”
Maeve: “I am sure it was because it was just us that she brought the groups directly to us. Aunt Ceres thinks a lot of Mama and you, so I doubt she would do anything to endanger either one of you.”
“Then she could have at least mentioned it to me…” –I let out a deep sigh.- “I don’t know what I am going to do with her.”
Dawn: “Well what are we waiting for?! I want to see Inari, Rory, and Mama again!”
It is not like standing here is going to solve anything so I nod and cast [Gate]. When we arrive at the house Dawn quickly makes rounds giving everyone hugs, which makes Takeshi quite uncomfortable as he is not used to that kind of thing.
Twilight gives Belinda and Inari a hug, and then is forced into a hug with Ceres, but that’s where she draws the line, and again Maeve hangs towards the back of the group while just saying hi. We all head to the living room and begin talking, and it isn’t long until Takeshi and I become the targets of their conversations, and we have to flee to safety.
Takeshi: “Are you sure it was wise to leave them on their own?”
“Maybe not, but it is better than staying in there, so… How did things go after I left the other day, I’m sorry I was in a bit of a hurry.”
Takeshi: “We have been keeping an eye on the Oni villagers, they seem to be doing alright, but they not adjusting to the new village as well as we had hoped.”
“I am sorry to hear that, but how is Inari doing…? She had quite the weight placed on her shoulders all of the sudden.”
Takeshi: “I was the one to take the corrupt dungeon out, so she wasn’t able to gain its strength, so she actually seems excited about getting to know the exact location of the rest of the corrupt dungeons. After the losses we suffered though I can tell she is also quite scared.”
“I felt horrible about losing the fox beastkin she gave me, but I didn’t know them that well. I only started to get to know them inside the dungeon, but I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to lose members like Zoey, or Azami.”
Takeshi: “She is taking it hard, but I don’t know if it is Yuji she is mourning most or Kaori… She never really liked Kaori, but Yuji loved her, and even after losing Yuji, Inari couldn’t even protect Kaori for him. It is almost like she lost Yuji twice, and that isn’t even mentioning Hotaru and Yuzuki as well.”
“Maybe spending time with Belinda and the others will help cheer her up a bit. What about the old gods, have you heard any more from them?”
Takeshi: “She heard from Amaterasu again, apparently she just making sure that Inari was going to hold up her end of the deal, and to reassure her that the old god Inari was on board for Inari helping Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi. Inari hasn’t heard from the old god Inari directly, but she did receive a new skill from it after returning home, so we are inclined to believe Amaterasu.”
“Well you take good care of her, alright?”
Takeshi: “I promise Father, I will not let you down.”
Takeshi and I talk for a while longer before we rejoin the women, and they seem to be enjoying themselves a great deal. By the time evening rolls around we have a large dinner together before we start preparing to take everyone home.
Before I get to far however Inari asks me if I can take them to the neutral zone first. Apparently they have made a deal to trade some monsters to one another as well, and it would make things much easier from the neutral zone, so I agree. Everyone says their farewells and we then depart for the neutral zone.
This room held the hellhound, phoenix, and the minotaur that Dyson gave me all at the same time, and even that large dragon companion of Ithros’s, but I still end up having to use [Gate] to transfer monsters to the girls dungeons just so the room doesn’t overflow with monsters…
After their exchange is complete Dawn, Twilight, and even Maeve gives me a hug before they disappear into the portal. Before I open a portal back to Inari’s dungeon she stops me for a second.
Inari: “I’m sorry Daddy, but before I go home I would like to ask a favor of you. I know after everything you did to help me out, you don’t owe me anything, but please hear me out.”
Inari: “It’s about the Oni… Being unable to communicate with them is making things quite hard. Especially when we don’t even know what they are talking about, but it is clear they are quite upset and I don’t know how to fix it. I know you have trained in Shima a lot, so I was wondering if because of your unique dungeon you could summon a sentient Oni were we could at least have a way to speak with them.”
“Training in Shima has giving me the ability to summon Oni, but not the sentient ones, I’m sorry.”
Inari: “Well it was at least worth a shot…Tomorrow morning Takeshi and I are going to set out for the Shima capital so I can get that taken care of, but if you need anything don’t hesitate to ask.”
“You be careful, and take care of each other, alright?”
Inari wraps her arms around me and gives me a big hug as she says. “You too…And you take care of Mommy and Rory! Tell them they can come visit me anytime!”
I rub my hand through Inari’s hair and then shake Takeshi’s hand before they disappear through the portal I create. I start to cast one last [Gate] to return home, but I then hear a voice behind me.
Madam Erin: “Well if it my little wayward pup, you seemed quite busy so I didn’t want to interrupt, but I think it’s time we need to talk.”