Chapter 8: The All or Nothing Battle

I woke up with a jolt in the morning, completely drenched in water. There stands Thirty-seven, the towel against her chest in her left, a now empty bucket in the right.

 

Thirty-seven: “You said to wake you.” -she turns and leaves the room. I wring out my shirt and follow her, heading to the dungeon.

 

“You know you could have just shaken me?”

 

Thirty-seven: “Noted.”

 

Once we enter the dungeon’s core room, she sets down the bucket and goes to sits in the chair.

 

“Lend me see the towel, I want to dry off.”

 

Her face quickly changes to a shocked expression, tears well up in her eyes, and she grips the towel tightly.

 

“Ah, never mind, I’ll manage…”

 

I’ve never seen her let go of that thing after I gave it back to her… I wonder how did Madam Erin get it from her so I could use it that one time… She’s awfully attached to it. I feel kind of bad for using it that one time now…..

 

I decide to experiment and use [Clean] to dry myself up. It only takes a brief moment. Using a water spell to dry off though… Well, it worked so let’s not look too much into it.

 

I double check everything in the dungeon, move the monsters into their final positions, and ask Thirty-seven- “How much time until the attack?”

 

Thirty-seven: “When I mentioned I’d be waking you up, Madam Erin gave me the water bucket, and said that if I woke you up with it, you could sleep until half an hour before the attack .”-she explains perfectly serious, as always-‘I woke you up 21 minutes ago. That leaves 9 minutes until the attack.”

 

So the bucket of water was Madam Erin’s idea. I’m starting to get her sense of humor.

 

Suddenly I shudder at the thought and then wait quietly for the attack to begin.

 

Intruders have entered the dungeon

 

When Madam Erin says she goes all out she means it… one… two… four crimson kobolds enter the dungeon one after the other, each better equipped than the one before. Three are wearing brand new chainmail, rather than the old, rusty and torn type I had gotten used to. Each of them carries shiny weapons made of superior materials. The first has a great sword, the second a sword and shield, and the last one holds a large curved bow, with two daggers at its waist.

 

he unarmored crimson kobold is wearing a mage robe of far finer quality than any previous casters, and is carries an iron rod with a huge gem at its tip, and many smaller ones along its length.

 

As the crimson kobolds enter the dungeon, Thirty-seven jumps to her feet and looks at me, then back to the screen, and finally sits down again… I guess she was a bit shocked as well.

 

Three of my kobolds charge at the intruders, while two more go around the sides, aiming at the mage. With one arrow from the archer and a swing from each shiny sword, all three of my charging kobolds are killed in a moment. The two kobolds aiming at the mage swing their rusty swords several times into the him but I can’t tell if they did any damage. The archer pulls both daggers and stabs one of my kobold’s in the back, while the mage’s spell freezes the other solid.

 

Just like that, the first room has been cleared and the intruders move on to the second room…

 

“This looks pretty bad. I can’t even tell if they managed to hurt the mage.”

 

The crimson kobolds enter the next room. checking the corners as they enter, but my five kobolds stand at the center of the room. The crimson kobolds with swords swing at my kobolds at they charge past, but miss. The archer, however, does not, as his arrow pierces one of my kobolds and sends it flying back so far that it pins the corpse to the wall.

 

My four remaining kobolds dog pile the mage, whacking, slashing and bashing as best they can while the crimson kobolds hack them to pieces in turn. After all of my kobolds have been dealt with, the mage is finally looking like he took some damage.

 

“Just the one room left.”- I say to Thirty-Seven.- “Looks like I’m losing the bet, but win or lose, Madam Erin promised to at least tell me after the battle how Alfred had a boss monster and 5000xp either way, so after the battle so even if we lose maybe I can do the same thing he did..”

 

 

“He died.”-says Thirty-seven

 

“True enough. So let’s avoid that part.”

 

As soon as the crimson kobolds enter the crystal room, the battle instantly heats up.

 

The goblin (lvl 2) with the sword and shield, and the goblin (lvl 3) with the two-handed axe, both strike at the crimson kobold with the great sword. The two spear-wielding kobolds stab at the mage, while my own kobold mage hurls fire at the archer and sets it ablaze.

 

The slime drops on top of the crimson kobold with the sword and shield, and the remaining goblin aims at the same kobold’s stomach while the slime distracts it, stabbing at it in a frenzy.

 

One of my spear-wielding kobolds is one-shot by the burning archer, and the other turns into an ice sculpture, while the leveled goblins slowly pile damage unto the crimson kobold with the greatsword.

 

The slime crawls into the mouth and throat of the sword-and-shield crimson kobold, who drops his gear so he can try and pry the slime away. My kobold mage keeps hurling fire at the archer until it one-shots him back. The great sword crimson kobold manages to hit the axe-wielding goblin (lvl 3) and bring it to its knees before succumbing to its own wounds.

 

The slime meanwhile, is doing a great job, chocking its victim and causing it to flail on the floor.

 

The enemy caster decides its partner is lost, and freezes it and the slime together.

 

The still-burning crimson archer falls to one knee, but takes a shot at the gravely injured axe goblin (lvl 3). The arrow hits it, then the sword-and-shield goblin (level 2) executes the archer with a stab through the head.

 

The sword-and-shield goblin (lvl 2) lunges at the crimson kobold mage, but freezes solid and stops mid-swing. The kobold swings his heavy iron rod and shatters the frozen goblin.

 

“That damn mage…”

Thirty-seven: “Send me in.”- Says Thirty-seven in an angry tone. I just noticed she’s standing by my side, the towel neatly folded atop the chair.

“What…?”

Thirty-seven: “Send me in, now!”

 

The mage walks slowly towards the crystal,

 

Thirty-seven: “Now! Before its too late!”

 

I close my eyes and wish Thirty-seven into the crystal room. I hear a chime…

 

When I open my eyes, I see the message:

 

Intruders neutralized.

 

Battle results:

 

Acquired: 65xp, 11 torn leather armors, 9 Iron swords, 9 small iron shields, 2 Iron spears, 1 mage robe, 1 iron rod 1 iron great axe, 1 worn rusty chainmail, 3 basic chain mail, 1 steel great sword, 1 steel sword, 1 steel shield, 1 large stout bow, 2 steel daggers, 1 magician’s robes, 1 gem studded iron rod.

 

Losses: All dungeon monsters have been eliminated.

 

Due to the state of decline in the dungeon xp consumption will be reduced to 1xp/7days no xp will be refunded and the new rate will take effect in 4 days.

 

New items acquired. They can now be purchased

 

Steel shield                                 Cost: 100xp

Steel dagger                               Cost: 25xp

Steel sword                                Cost: 50xp

Steel great sword                     Cost: 100xp

Gem laden Iron rod                 Cost: 100xp

Large stout bow                        Cost: 75xp

Basic chainmail                        Cost: 150xp

Magicians robes                       Cost: 100xp

 

New monsters can be purchased

 

Crimson Kobold Mage             Cost: 200

 

I quickly look to the screen that shows the crystal room, and see Thirty-seven cast a [Clean] to wash the blood off her hands. The crimson kobold mage is dead inches from the crystal, with one of the archer’s steel dagger plunged all the way to the hilt in the center of its back.

 

I quickly use [Menu] to collect the equipment and clear the dungeon of bodies, then pick up the towel and join Thirty-seven in the crystal room.

 

She walks to me and takes the towel with both hands before clutching it to her chest.

 

Thirty-seven: “Madam Erin is going to be upset.”

“Nothing to do about it but go speak with her.”

 

Thirty-seven and I make our way to the throne room.  Madam Erin is sitting in the throne when we arrive, her arms crossed in front of her.

 

When Thirty-seven bows and begins to walk out of the room, Madam Erin stops her.

 

Madam Erin: “Wait, you stay here for this as well.”

 

 Thirty-seven comes back, but stops a few feet behind me.

 

Madam Erin: “Well pup, I am not sure whether I should congratulate you or not.”-she says- “You crystal wasn’t broken, but you had to cheat.”

 

Madam Erin uncrosses her arms and leans back into the throne in a more relaxed posture. speaking then speaks in a lighter tone.

 

Madam Erin: “I guess however, there’s no such thing as cheating in a battle of life and death, you win or  you die.”

 

She crosses her legs and a big smile creeps across her face.

 

Madam Erin: “I guess we will just call it the debut of your boss monster.”-she smiles softly- “Yes, that ought to work just fine. Well pup, a promise is a promise.”

 

She instructs me to open [Menu] and I watch my xp value rise from 68xp to 8068xp.

 

Madam Erin: “I threw in a bonus for your effort. Now for the rest of the promise, I assume you have found your number and its past in Dungeon Core Information ?”

 

After I nod, she continues.

 

Madam Erin: “Well, truth be told, I lied to you. You see, Elder Leland was a dear friend of mine, and I wanted you to prove you could live up to his number, so I only started you with 2000xp instead of the 10,000xp rookie cores usually start with.”

“…”

Madam Erin: “I also skipped on giving you a boss monster, but that seems to have worked itself out. Three days is rather impressive with the limits you where given, so I decided to acknowledge you and give you your dues. However, that doesn’t mean I will go easy on you the rest of the month, so you and your boss monster there better head back to prepare for tomorrow.” -She looks at us, then adds- “What are you waiting for? Leave and get to work, I can’t wait to see the results.”

 

Thirty-seven and I start head back when Madam Erin stops us when we get to the door. “Oh, and one more thing.” -She says- “You will need to move into your dungeon for the rest of the month. I am going to fill the halls with monsters tonight just in case you decide you want to gather some extra XP. If you need to contact me, just use [Communication].

 

I scored a bunch of xp but things are going to get tougher now.  I will not even be able to leave the dungeon now without getting attacked by monsters. I guess it doesn’t matter much it’s not like I have to leave the dungeon to get food or anything like that. I haven’t even traveled more than just a few hallways of Madam Erin’s dungeon except the one time we went to the lower floors. Thirty-seven and I head back to bedrooms I stop outside her door.

 

“I will wait here for you to gather your things; I don’t have anything in my room anyway.”

 

Thirty-seven: “I have nothing as well.”

 

“Nothing? You have been here five years and have nothing? What did you do all this time?”

 

Thirty-seven: “I awaited Madam Erin’s instructions. She asked me to do things for her once or twice a week.”

 

“What about all the rest of the time? Did you just sit there and stare at the walls?”

 

Thirty-seven: “I also slept when I would become tired.”

 

“I don’t even know how to respond to that…Oh, I wanted to apologize. I know you are the one that wanted to help me in the fight earlier, but sorry you got stuck becoming the boss monster for my dungeon. I am sure being a dungeon core yourself being stuck as a monster for another core is not pleasant.”

 

Thirty-seven: “On the contrary, I find it to be a rather…..Enjoyable.”

 

We enter the dungeon core room and I open [Menu] the first thing I notice I have no contacts under the friends tab anymore. Thirty-seven has been moved to monsters tab, and Madam Erin has moved to a new tab that just says Neutral.

 

“Well, shall we get started? I am sure there is a lot of things you can help with.” after saying that a message pops up.

 

Would you like dungeon monster Thirty-seven (boss) access to your dungeon [Menu]?

 

“Yes”

 

Would you like to set restrictions to monster Thirty-seven (boss)’s access? For example you can limit the amount of xp they can access or limit them only to specific pages.

 

“No.”

 

No [Menu] restrictions set for monster Thirty-seven (boss) restrictions can be added at any time.

 

Thirty-seven: “My first suggestion, never give a monster full access to your [Menu]

 

“You are the boss of my dungeon though shouldn’t you be able to access everything?”

 

Thirty-seven: “Then I suggest setting it like this.”

 

Monster Thirty-seven (boss) [Menu] restriction added. Dungeon core approval required, before finalization of any purchase. Admin privileges for monster Thirty-seven (boss) revoked.

 

“Well, if you are fine with that I guess its ok… How should we start?”

 

Thirty-seven: “Fortunately, you have acquired quite a few weapons even if they are not that great that will save the cost of monsters by half if not more. If you plan to continue using goblin brutes I would suggest purchasing a few rifts. Their cost is far greater but you don’t have to keep purchasing every day.”

 

“I haven’t seen any rifts, what are they?”

 

thirty-seven: “Rifts, summon monsters every single day. A standard rift is 10 times the cost of xp, for 1 monster/day with a maximum of 1. You can however change the way a rift functions for a higher cost of xp. When the waves start getting tougher we might decide to create stronger rifts.”

 

Opening my [Menu] I now see the option to select rift next to each monster, selecting goblin brute rift a new screen appears.

 

Goblin brute (Rift)          [1/day]    +   [1 total]  =   250xp

 

I mess around with the settings to see the cost difference.

 

Goblin brute (Rift)    [2/day]   +    [1 total]   =   300xp

Goblin brute (Rift)    [1/day]   +    [2 total]   =   300xp

Goblin brute (Rift)    [2/day]   +    [2 total]   =   350xp

 

I could of probably saved a lot of xp if I done this from the start.

 

thirty-seven: “Next, I should warn you only named monsters can leave a dungeon, and rift monsters cannot be named.”  -She then says.-

Thirty-seven: “Leveling also works differently, the max level is lower, and the rift itself levels instead of the monster.  If it takes 3 kills to gain a level, than a standard rift will level after three kills. However the level wont take effect till a new creature is spawned. If the [Total] is higher the rift will require more kills to level.”

 

“What do you mean only named monsters can leave the dungeon?”

 

Thirty-seven: “To gather xp, you can take monsters with you, but only monsters with names can leave the dungeon. Rift monsters are bound to the floor they spawn on. You can unbind a rift monster by paying double his value in xp, and he then becomes a normal monster.”

 

I then begin rebuilding my dungeon. The blue slimes actually preformed really well, when not dealing with magic so I place a Blue slime rift 1/day total 2 in the crystal room costing me 600xp. When the slime is born from the rift I move it to the first room. Next I place a goblin brute rift 2/day total 4 in the crystal room costing me 450xp.

 

Monster rift requires equipment; would you like to set equipment? Equipment sets will be pulled from the dungeons inventory. If set equipment not available in inventory it will automatically be purchased for new monster. If equipment exceeds available xp, monster will be born unarmed. Only one set of equipment can be set per rift.

 

I go ahead and set the brutes up with the torn leather armor, iron sword, and small iron shield. And move the first two born up to the first room.

I next set a young kobold mage rift 1/day total 2 costing me 540xp in the crystal room. I set the equipment to mage robes and wooden staff, and move the first one up to the first room.

Next I set a standard hobgoblin rift in the crystal room costing me 500xp and set its equipment to iron great axe and worn rusty chainmail. The hobgoblin is only slightly larger than the goblin brute but its skin is more of a grey color instead of green. I move him as well to the first room.

Next in the middle room I summon the same group that Madam Erin used against me today except I double it, costing me 2,225 xp.

Next I place three weak spike traps side by side just past the pit trap in the front room using the tile switch I still had left over and buying two more cost me 115xp.

 

Current consumption changed to 1xp/day. 1 xp consumed now, next 1xp to be consumed at the beginning of the day.

 

New traps unlocked

 

Covered pit trap                   50 xp

Spike trap                               50xp

Dart trap                                 50xp

 

Trip wire                                 20xp

Tile switch                             40xp

 

 

“I wish they would have unlocked before I bought them traps. Oh well I guess once the weak spike traps break I will replace them with the better ones. Well I think that will do it for now. With this we should still be able to win even if the attack is double tomorrow as it was today…”

 

“Although I hope it doesn’t get that much harder in one day. Madam Erin said she will fill the halls with monsters tonight, so I guess for today we rest. After the battle tomorrow we will see how much damage is done then decide if we want to go hunting in the hallways or not.”

 

“Oh I almost forgot go ahead and pick out the things you need and I will let you purchase them.”

 

Thirty-seven: “There is nothing I require.”

 

“Nothing you req…..You don’t even have a place to sleep.”

 

Thirty-seven: “I will be fine with this chair. When I get tired I will lay down.”

 

“Lay down where? On the floor? Alright I will take care of it.”

 

I access [Dungeon Core] picking out a bed I spend the 35xp on it setting it down on the other side of the room for Thirty-seven, and after looking at it decide to store the cot, and buy one for myself as well. I also buy a small table putting it next to her bed for 10xp, and put a small flower & vase for 1xp on top of it. I then sit down on my new bed, and it is by far better than the bed in the old room, or the cot.

 

“Well it’s still pretty early but not much we can do till tomorrow so let’s get some sleep for now.”

 

I watch as Thirty-seven stands, and goes to the bed and lies down. I then think to myself. “She even sleeps with that thing…” I watch Thirty-sevens back for a few minutes, and it looks like she went right to sleep. Although she doesn’t move while sitting in a chair either so she may still be awake. I finally roll over and drift off to sleep.

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