It has been many years since I last time I woke to the embrace of another, but even though it has been so long I can’t say I find comfort in it now. I take the arm from around my waist and quickly get out of bed. The naked, albeit very beautiful, creature residing in my bed stirs with a complaint.
Elexia: “Mother, come back to bed.”
“I have told you, do not call me that, and I told you to stay out of my bed.”
Elexia: “But Mother, our baby will be born soon, we should spend as much time together as possible.”
“It is your responsibility to raise her. She will be a dungeon core, so forming a close bond with her would be unwise on my part.”
Elexia: “That is ridiculous! Dungeon core or not, she will still be your daughter!”
“You know it isn’t that simple.”
Elexia: “Why not, it hasn’t stopped you in regards to Dyson.”
“The only bond I have with Dyson is that of mutual respect. Were it not for his strength he would be nothing but just another dungeon core to me.”
Elexia: “What about Two-Twelve?”
“It is only his unique dungeon that interests me, not the man himself!”
Elexia: “You sacrificed some of my daughters for him, and even risked your own life. Who is it you are trying to fool, me or yourself?”
“Their sacrifice was regrettable, but his unique dungeon…”
Elexia interrupts me by saying: “Mother, I don’t blame you! That isn’t it at all. I am saying there is nothing wrong with forming bonds with others. My daughters sacrificed themselves knowing that Two-Twelve is important to you and you denying that fact is an insult to their sacrifice.”
“What you are asking of me is not easy to do.”
Elexia: “I don’t expect it to be, but all I ask is that you don’t lie to yourself. Two-Twelve needed you and you helped him. I am sure he will need you again sometime in the future, and that is fine as well, but our daughter is going to need you just as much, so please don’t pretend you don’t care.”
“Fine I will think about it, but just stop calling me mother.”
Elexia: “Alright, my beloved♪” -She says while pulling on a silken robe.-
I can’t help but sigh putting on clothes of my own before transferring from my room.
After the events that led me to evolve Desiree, Ceres wasn’t surprised that Dyson left before having a chance to talk with him. She was however did complain that I didn’t use Desiree’s evolution as an advantage asking to have Dyson join our group as a condition.
I can’t say she is wrong… But when I threw out the mention of 10 million xp and Dyson agreed without hesitation I have to say I got a little rattled. I have since put that xp to good use by expending my dungeon ever so closer to my secondary dungeon, but when I tried to make a room to connect the two Lilah quickly stops me.
Lilah: “Master wait!”
“What is wrong?”
Lilah: “Lilah knows Master wants to connect the two dungeons together, but Master can’t yet!”
“I don’t understand, that was why we were making the stairwells and rooms for the last few weeks.”
Lilah: “But if Tobes becomes part of Master’s primary dungeon, it would become part of sub-level 24.”
“Exactly, and then we can store the crystal using the imitation crystal in its place, and be much safer for it.”
Lylah: “I think what she means is. If Tobes becomes part of sub-level 24 than there would always be intruders within that floor.
“We gain half of our xp from the mages and townsfolk of Tobes, so I understand that.”
Lylah: “But Tobes is the ground floor of the secondary dungeon, as sub-level 24 of the primary dungeon we would no longer be able to change anything in the floors above so as long as there is a single person remaining in Tobes…”
“…Well…Damnit. I got so wrapped up in connecting the two I completely forgot that part. That means we will never be able to connect the two dungeons.”
Lila: “Untrue Master. Once sub-levels 24 and above are full of rifts and we are happy with them we can connect the dungeons then.”
“We are years if not decades away from that point if continue building like we have so far…”
Lilah: “If Master is worried about the crystal, than Master can make another imitation crystal.”
“I do have plenty of xp left, but I feel it is a bit of a waste to use another imitation crystal here.”
Lylah: “The imitation crystal in the house was a gift from the Elders, so it should still only be a million xp for the first one you summon yourself.”
“I think the crystal is rather secure right now, I would much rather use an imitation crystal to put a secondary dungeon in Shima then use another one here.”
Lilah: “Lilah will go to Shima to train, but Master will have to get someone else to watch a dungeon there!”
“Well I don’t think you have anything to worry about, I am in no rush…”
Since combining my dungeons is out of the question I spend the reminder of the xp I got from Dyson to expand on the elemental wings of the dungeon, but even ten million xp doesn’t go far when adding some of the new elemental creatures I learned in Shima.
It has been several weeks now and not only has Sara’s dungeon, but the other two dungeon cores within our group that we have helped out, are all beginning to make excellent progress.
After producing a ring for each of them using the [Artificer] skill, it always results in a customized unique ring for the core in which I made it for. They all function the same way. It is just the description that is tailored to the core in which I summoned it for.
I still don’t know if it is because of the skill or something to do with Ceres’s sister that controls [Menu], but either way it has given me the ability to make the rings with a 100% success rate, and as long as it works, then that is all that matters to me.
Ceres and I talked about building a large room to connect our dungeons together so we could summon monsters for our groups, but it looks like my suspicions about some of her rooms where no unfounded, after we connect our dungeons by large rooms running underneath the road into Tobes.
She won’t tell me how she managed to build buildings, with the tallest being 5 floors, and build sub-levels. There are quite a few multiple story buildings in Tobes that are covered by my secondary dungeon, but the entire buildings count as a single room. However I have seen Ceres summon in items while there were humans in another room of the same building, so I know that can’t be the case for her.
The only explanation I can come up with is a secondary dungeon, but I don’t see how she has acquired that much xp. On the other hand she doesn’t even bat an eye while summoning over 100,000xp worth of monsters each time for the members of our group, so I guess it isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility.
The room has helped quite a bit however, and we have started to summon the monsters early to gather a bit of xp from one another until we ship them off to their new dungeons.
My days have grown quite busy again with the first few hours of each morning with Belinda and Rory, then spend at least an hour in that room with Ceres speaking to the cores we have already helped and preparing for the next one we help. I then take care of matters in my own dungeon, and we have started to pick back up the training we do in Shima in the evenings.
The dungeon has received quite a few high level groups lately. Most of the groups are the mages with the Mage’s Guild, and they are content with just gathering the elemental regents, but the prince of Exeter’s reputation of being weak was well known, but rumors of him becoming a seasoned adventurer have made it back home and we are starting to see signs of adventurers from Exeter coming to Tobes.
One such group is a group of 5 humans that have really became a thorn in my side. Their levels are average compared to similar groups within my dungeon, but for some reason this group put me on edge.
If they were not a group made entirely of humans I would suspect they have come from a dungeon. Even then I thought they might be from Dyson’s dungeons due to their classes, but after doing some digging they don’t appear to have ever stepped foot in Mar, and the woman within their group does not have the appearance of someone in which Dyson is capable of summoning.
It isn’t only their progress in the dungeon that seems troubling, but the poking around they have done in Tobes. They don’t seem the type to stay in one place very long, but they quickly secured a large building that they bought from some sort of exchange with Denova, and not only are they living there but they seem to be gathering a great deal of items from the dungeon.
Some of which they sell to Denova, but they are sending just as much off somewhere else. The only part of it that is actually against the rules is with the amount they ship off they should be paying some sort of tax to Gowen, but even Belinda doesn’t think it is enough to risk outing ourselves in the process, so we are just keeping a close eye on them.
This mystery group, and some of the Exeter groups have finally reached the end of sub-level 6, taking out the minotaur guarding the end of that floor enough times that it warranted us finally placing a rift there which cost us quite dearly, but so far none have been able to get all the elemental orbs together to open the door.
If they can defeat the minotaur they should be able to beat the bosses in the elemental wings, so it is only a matter of time, so I have since created a room for Akil in a lower section of the dungeon, which he complained about quite profusely when I relocated him.
With the university and the continued popularity of the dungeon, the racial diversity of Tobes has started to grow with dwarves and elves becoming a much more common sight, so I wasn’t too worried when I summoned some more dwarves to help offset the items we have started to lose.
The Demi-human village inside the dungeon has even become a popular place for not only curious adventurers, but tourists as well, and although there have been a few mishaps, so far the loss of life has been preventable through the laws placed down by the soldiers and Mage’s Guild.
I am still not confident enough to let them leave the dungeon, but they have started to sell items to Tobes that they gather in the dungeon. Some of the adventurers have even taking to hire some them in hopes to help them in the dungeon.
Something we quickly encouraged and it didn’t take long for it to become known that groups that hire and treat the demi-humans well receive better rewards within the dungeon. They don’t actually partake in combat, but the gnomes or fairies tag along with some of the groups helping them process fallen monsters or some of the more brutish demi-humans like the lizardmen to serve as pack mules.
I don’t know what the future will hold, but with the consent increase of the different races within Tobes I am hoping that soon the demi-humans will become just as widely accepted.
With me spending most of this year underground helping Inari, I missed most of spring and a fair amount of summer, so as fall starts to hit in full swing I can’t help feel there is a lot I have to make up for. I missed most of the girl’s birthdays again this year including Belinda’s so she is not planning on holding back as my own birthday begins to approach.
After spending my time with Belinda and Rory in the morning and just as I am finishing up with Ceres and out group of dungeon cores we both receive a message.
2nd generation Dungeon Core #2 has been born to Dungeon Core #36 [Madam Erin] and Dungeon Core #36’s boss monster Elexia.
Ceres: “Well it is about time… I have never heard of a succubus carrying a child that long before.”
“We will have to make sure to send a message and congratulate them in a bit, but I still don’t know if Madam Erin sees it as an event worth congratulating. She seemed rather adamant about it being just another dungeon core.”
Ceres: “I don’t know, people have a lot of ideas what parenthood is all about until they actually become a parent, so who knows. Maybe she will warm up to the idea.”
“I hope you are right, not that I don’t think Elexia would do a good job of raising another child, but I think it would be nice if Madam Erin does her own part.”
Ceres nods and we continue wrapping up our business, and after a while before we have a chance to send a message to Madam Erin she sends one to me.
Madam Erin: (I am sure you received a message a while ago, so you are aware of the birth of the new dungeon core. However there are some things about it that has left me puzzled, and I am requesting your assistance.)
“That was quick… I guess you weren’t joking about Madam Erin not being prepared when you said that a few weeks ago. She is already asking for my help.”
Madam Erin: (It may also be helpful to bring that Ceres along with you, as she might have a better understanding of how this could happen.)
“She is asking for me to bring you along as well.”
Ceres: “Meanie Big Brother, you wouldn’t let me be the godmother to dear Rory, so maybe Madam Erin realizes how important such a decision is so she is calling for me as well!”
“I doubt that, but do you think we should go?”
Ceres: “A member of our group is asking for assistance so of course we should go see what is going on.” –She says with a smirk.-
I nod and get answer Madam Erin back, I then let Belinda know about going to pay Madam Erin a visit but don’t tell her about the baby just yet, as Madam Erin was talking as if there was some kind of problem, and I don’t want Belinda to worry.
Madam Erin tells me where to teleport to inside her dungeon and it isn’t long until Ceres and I are standing in front of Madam Erin who is wearing a concerned look on her face.
Madam Erin: “Do you know what is going on?!” –She asks hastily to Ceres.-
Ceres: “Excuse me…?”
Madam Erin: “Did you know this would happen with Elexia’s child?” –She says flustered in a way that is very unlike her normal attitude.-
Ceres: “I am not sure what you mean.”
“Maybe you should calm down, and just tell us what happened.”
Madam Erin: “It would be far easier for you to just see for yourself.” –She says while quickly slapping her massive hands on our shoulders, and transferring us from the room.-
We arrive an in largely decorated bedroom, but it is far from what one would expect from Madam Erin, unless somewhere deep down she has soft and delicate side we don’t know anything about. The room is full of pinks and fluffy objects. One of which is a bed in which we are standing right next too, and nestled in the center of it is Elexia holding a small bundle of pink blankets.
Elexia: “Oh Mother, you brought guests! I am glad you changed you mind.”
Madam Erin: “This is a serious matter!”
Elexia: “Oh Mother, quit exaggerating, we knew with the length in which it took for this one to be born, that something was different.”
“Different, what do you mean different?”
Elexia: “We obviously were not prepared for such an event so we still haven’t chosen a name yet, but let me introduce you to Mother and my son.” –She says lowering the blanket so we can see the baby’s face.-
Ceres: “I see…”
Madam Erin: “So you do know what has happened?”
Ceres: “Well the situation is quite different, and with the use of that ring, and the summoning of the new dungeon core with [Menu] there is a lot of things to take into consideration, but when I heard about the length in which it was taking for the child to be born, I had my suspicions.”
Madam Erin: “Well, care to fill us in?” –She says impatiently.-
Ceres: “I don’t see what you are worrying about. It just proves how much Elexia cares for you.”
Elexia: “Of course I care for Mother.”
Ceres: “You don’t just care for her, you love her don’t you?”
Elexia: “Of course! Everything I am is because of Mother!”
Ceres: “Love is not something that a succubus should ever experience in their lifetime, and there is a legend that is as old as I am that tells of a succubus falling in love with a human. The birth of such a child was the birth of the race called vampires.”
Madam Erin: “That is impossible, vampires are just undead monsters!”
Ceres: “Maybe the ones summoned by dungeon, or created by a necromancer, but I am talking about more than that. A true vampire as you might call it, and the purest of their race. Comparing a true vampire to one in which a dungeon can readily summon is like calling a kobold a dragon.”
Madam Erin: “And that is what you are thinking happened here? That this child didn’t become a succubus and became a vampire instead?”
Ceres: “This legend was before Dungeon Cores existed mind you, much less beastkin, but the theory is sound.”
Madam Erin: “You don’t believe that this was a mistake caused by those manipulating [Menu] then?”
Elexia: “Mother, I told you our child would be special.”
Ceres: “Not only will he be one of the second generation dungeon cores but a true vampire as well, I think we can expect a lot from you child.”
“Well I can’t say I quite understand all this, but I haven’t gotten the chance yet, so I just want to say congratulations.”
Elexia: “Thank you Two-Twelve and I am sure Mother would never admit it, but I am sure she appreciates it as well.”
Madam Erin: “I am perfectly fine speaking for myself, and I have told you to quit calling me that.”
Elexia: “Speaking of names, we can’t exactly call out son Camilla, so since Ceres knows so much about these true vampires, maybe we should ask her and Two-Twelve’s help in naming him?”
Ceres: “I don’t know about a name, but I believe they called the true vampire from legend a Cambion.”
Elexia: “I like that, but just Cambion won’t do. He is the proof of the feelings Mother and I share, so his name should be equally important, so how about we call him Lord Cambion? What do you think Mother?”
Madam Erin: “If this really hasn’t been a mistake, then he should be a dungeon core, so what we name him is only relevant until a time he chooses his own name.”
Elexia: “Please Mother, don’t be like that! This is our child, our very own child. You can’t expect him to be just another dungeon core to you…”
Ceres: “She is right Madam Erin. This child is your child, and he will need more from you then all the other dungeon cores you have ever trained combined. This isn’t the kind of task you can just push off to someone else just because you don’t want to grow attached to him.”
Madam Erin doesn’t seem too happy about the idea, but even though we can’t force her to love him, we at least get our point across about the responsibilities she has to him. Without objection Lord Cambion became the child’s name.
Ceres asked to hold him, and she seemed to greatly enjoy it. When Ceres was holding him I was able to get a better look at him, and he doesn’t seem to share a lot of traits from his parents, at least for now he looks like a human child.
We stay for a while longer speaking to Madam Erin and Elexia, but when it is nearing the time for me to depart for my evening training we depart and Ceres and I return back to Tobes.
“How do you think it is going to go?”
Ceres: “I think it is going to be fine. Madam Erin sent you the message because even though she doesn’t want to admit it she was worried about her son.”
“I guess only time will tell.”
I then bid Ceres Farwell and head home. After catching her up about Madam Erin and her son she is a little mad that I didn’t take her with me to Madam Erin’s place, but she understands why I didn’t. We then head to Shima with several of the bunnies, leaving Rory with Scylla.