Chapter 10: What is THAT?

At last! I finally wake up to a gentle nudge.

I slide over and sit up on my bed to see Thirty-seven walking over sitting down in her chair. I stretch while yawning and check the wound on my stomach. The wound is completely gone, no traces remain.

“Wow, that was quick.” I remove the bandage wrapped around me, and I get up sitting in the chair next to Thirty-seven. “Here let me check your wounds.”

I roll up her sleeve and look at her shoulder. I remove her bandage and see that only a small mark remains where the wound was, by tomorrow you won’t even know she had an arrow buried in her shoulder.

“I guess that means the wound on your stomach is complete gone then?”

She nods raising her shirt to show me. I then mention the wound on her leg, and she quickly stands and starts unfastening her pants when I stop her.

“No with that wound we probably better leave the bandage on one more day. You can go ahead and remove the bandage before you wake me tomorrow morning.”

Just like that I managed to prevent another disaster. I dispose of the bandages we removed then make sure everything is set for the dungeon battle. I take the newly spawned rift monsters from the dungeon crystal room and placing them in the front room.

“Ok, now with this, we are hopefully prepared. At least for today anyway.”

I flip through a few pages of the Dungeon Core Information while waiting for the attack. I find another one of the rookie cores.

Current Dungeon Core #712 [Midget]                                          Location: Dungeon 390

Dungeon: Training Hall                                                             Crystal: Basic Training Crystal

Dungeon contains 1 floor, 3 rooms, 1020 monster, 0 traps

Dungeon core level: 2                                                                  XP: 2319

Dungeon active: 0 years

Basic training hall is a dungeon within a dungeon to train new dungeon cores. Most favored monster Pretty Pixie, most favored trap N/A, Most purchased monster Pink Puff, Most purchased trap N/A, boss monster Pixie Protector.

Previous Dungeon Core #712 [Han]                                                       Location: Tranquil Hills

Dungeon:  Tranquil Hills Mine                                                  Crystal:  Small earthen agate

Dungeon at its peak contained 24 floors, 5 rooms, 1 monster, 0 traps

Dungeon Core level: 42                                                                          XP: 32,032

Dungeon active: 53 years

Tranquil Hill Mine was a unique dungeon that used humans symbiotically. Dungeon Core #712 [Han] built only a basic tunnel filling it with ores and gem deposits that humans desire. Humans mined in the dungeon for over 40 years before even discovering it was actually a dungeon, but they did not ever attempte to destroy the crystal because they received over twenty times the resources then from a standard mine. Han’s death was caused by a group of heroes hired by humans that wanted to stop the production of ore from the mine. Most favored monster Beastkin (Wolf), Most favored trap weak spike trap, most purchased monster goblin, Most purchased trap weak spike trap, boss monster Beastkin (Wolf)

“Midget? I am glad that Madam Erin is allowing me to choose my own name so I don’t end up with something like that.”

Thirty-seven: “Many of the Dungeon Cores don’t give their students proper names. It is a way to make them try harder because once you are given your own crystal you are allowed to change your name the one time. If you end up failing like I did you must remain with the name given to you by your teacher. Mine didn’t bother naming me, she just called me by my number.”

“That’s why your name is like that? Is becoming a full-fledged Dungeon Core the only way you can change your name?”

Thirty-seven: “I have become your boss monster, so you could rename me once. However once you leave to start your own dungeon it will revert back.”

“That’s unfortunate. I would have liked to be able to help you since you are helping me with so much.”

Thirty-seven: “Think nothing of it. I have gotten used to my name. However you better make up your mind on your own name before the end of the month so you too don’t remain just a number.”

“I will think hard on it. I also seen that Han the old #712 didn’t fill his dungeon with monsters he just used treasure items so live humans would keep coming to his dungeon.”

Thirty-seven has a disgusted look on her face. “Yes some Dungeon Cores choose that route, but as you see it never ends well for them. Humans are vile, evil creatures, and they should all be wiped out.”

Thirty-seven looks extremely agitated. “One of the Elders even brags about the xp she earns by having a human city sitting on the base floor of her dungeon.” As she finishes she eventually calms back down returning to her normal self.

That actually sounds like a good idea, although I am smart enough not to say so. Then by some gracious luck we receive the message.

Intruders have entered your dungeon.

Wave one and two hit and there are no problems, wave three even starts off stronger with a goblin getting a good hit on the crimson kobold. This time, although one is badly damaged, neither of the slimes loses their lives. Also they are only able to manage to take out one of the goblins.

Wave four slams the first room again, but this even one of these enemies falls before the room is wiped. Once again, when they enter the next room they are greatly outnumbered, and the intruders fall.

“Now is the deciding factor.”

I manage to heal the monsters with xp, but only just, as the next wave hits the dungeon. We luck out as the group contains another 4 crimson kobold set, but this time has an extra great sword wielder and sword and shield wielder.

We still outnumber them with an extra archer and mage but I decide to send in the new great sword goblin brute, Block, Slash, and Archer as well. I order the three named crimson kobolds focus on defense and not lose their lives.

I still manage to lose the goblin brute and 4 crimson kobolds, but we obtain victory with all the named kobolds still alive.

Intruders Neutralized

The message pops up showing me all the equipment I gained and even managed to pull in 225xp, but I am sure I will still be in the hole after replacing monsters. The goblin brute, young kobold mage, and hobgoblin rifts, all three manages to gain a level.

Instead of replacing the goblin brutes I decide to place a new hobgoblin rift set to 2/day for a total of 2, setting me back 700xp. I set them too be equip with [Basic Chainmail], [Steel Swords], and [Large Steel Shields].

I also replace the current hobgoblin rift’s equipment load-out to include the [Basic Chainmail], and a [Steel Great Sword] instead of the axe. Lastly for the first room, I throw in another blue slime.

“I should of set that blue slime rift 2/day, oh well.”

650xp later the crimson kobolds are replenished in the middle room, and I move the named guys back to the crystal room.

“Well I think we are ready to go hunting now, and depending on how well we do might need to add some defenses to the core room.” I however am stopped by a message.

Madam Erin: “I see you managed to survive 5 days, but I had no doubt you would with your setup from yesterday. Think of it as taking it easy on you to prepare for tomorrow. That’s when the party really starts.”

“Thanks for the warning, I will make sure not to disappoint.”

Madam Erin: “That’s the spirit pup, just don’t get to cocky.” There is a short delay then she sends another message though. “Oh, and since you trashed all the kobold on the first floor I decided to up the difficulty in my dungeon a bit. Good luck.”

“Looks like things are constantly getting more interesting around here.”

Thirty-seven: “We may want to prepare some back packs for the kobold to carry if we want to bring any items back with us.”

“Ok, I will take a look.”

Looking through [Menu] I find a [standard backpack] for 10xp and buy one for each of the kobolds.

“That should do it, are we ready now?”

Thirty-seven nods.

With a few short moments in [Menu] Thirty-seven and I leave the dungeon along with Block, Slash, and Archer.

As soon as we leave the dungeon things quickly take a turn for the worse as two crimson kobolds charge the group.

I quickly hit one with a [Fireball], and Archer hits the other with an arrow but neither slow down.

Block stops a massive steel sword with his shield, and Thirty-seven darts past him slashing the enemy twice.

Slash and the enemy kobold’s swords collide echoing into the hallway, and creating sparks.

With Block and Thirty-seven on one enemy, I decide to help out Slash casting [Freeze]. Archer has the same idea as he shoots an arrow. Between my spell and Archers arrow the kobold steps back giving Slash the opportunity to bring his sword down finally ending the enemy.

The kobold decides hitting Block’s shield is pointless so turns his attention to Thirty-seven. She however nimbly dodges his swing and attacks with two more. Block then brings his sword down on its neck nearly removing its head from its shoulder.

“Seems like everything is going to be harder from here on out. Well if everyone is ok let’s move on.”

After checking the doors it seems they all have been converted back to their original bedroom forms.

“I guess we need to go to another floor then, so should we go up or down?”

Thirty-seven: “Knowing Madam Erin I believe either way will be the same, but I believe she will have something special in store for us if we manage to get up to the throne room by the end of the month.”

“So, up then? Sounds reasonable enough.”

We head up to the next floor exiting onto another long hallway. Midway down there are three crimson kobolds that spot us, and begin rushing our way. Thirty-seven, Block, and Slash prepare for defense as Archer and I attack.

I manage to fire three spells before the enemies reach us, but only one of the spells hits its mark. Archer on the other hand hits one of the enemies with four arrows seriously wounding it.

Slash takes the wounded one, Block takes the uninjured one, and Thirty-seven pairs off with the one I hit with a spell.

As the kobold attacks Thirty-seven she dodges diving behind it slashing its back, and giving me a chance to hit it with another [Freeze] spell.

Block doesn’t make any headway as they both block each other’s blows.

With one more arrow from Archer it causes the other kobold to hesitate just enough for Slash to bring it down without it ever swinging its sword.

After my third [Freeze] spell connects with the kobold he begins icing over as Thirty-seven brings her sword around sending it crashing to the floor.

Finally with five on one the last enemy can do nothing but die.

“We luckily haven’t taken any damage yet, but we need to consider how to retreat if the battle gets to be too much.”

Thirty-seven simply states. “It is simple, you fall back and any of us that remain will cover you.”

“We can’t really afford to lose anybody here, so I would like for all of us to retreat if things start getting to be too much.”

Thirty-seven: “Never losing anyone may sound good, but life rarely works that way.” -She says sternly then returns to normal and continues.-

Thirty-seven: “When you order the retreat, Archer will stick close to you. I will follow up behind him along with Slash. Block will bring up the rear with his shield and hold off enemies. If anyone does fall, just keep moving. If you die, it’s all over.”

“I hate feeling like a glass keepsake following you guys around, while everyone makes sure I don’t break.”

thirty-seven: “Our lives depend on you. That is just what it means to be a Dungeon Core. If you don’t like it, the only answer is to get stronger.”

We check the first door, but it is securely locked, the next door has a single room with a lone crimson kobold that is just no match for us.

We prepare to open the next room, once kicking the door in we move in finding a empty room with a single large object in the room with a tarp over it. Block stands in front of me guarding while Slash, and Thirty-seven pull the tarp.

Underneath is just a large pile of rocks; however Thirty-seven begins to panic screaming for us to fall back. Before anyone has a chance to move the rocks begin rumbling and iron bars cover the doorway.

Thirty-seven: “Damnit! Block, no matter what happens protect master with your life. Archer arrows are pretty much pointless, but your daggers might work if you get in a lucky hit. Slash, you and I will do our best to keep all of its attention on us.” She quickly turns her attention to me.

Thirty-seven: “Your [Freeze] spell will be the most effective attack we have, every chance you get hit it with it, but don’t use to much magic that you black out.”

The rocks on the floor begin to come together forming a single creature with no head but two arms and legs, standing at least twice our height. As the file rock comes into place one of the stone arms comes crashing down where Thirty-seven stands.

Thirty-seven manages to miss the huge rocks crushing blow by few short centimeters. I quickly cast [Freeze] hitting it dead center but doesn’t even slow it down and it’s arm moves almost all the way around the body aiming at Slash.

Unable to get out of the way Slash tries to block the swinging blow with his sword. His knees buckle and he slides across the floor. He took a lot of damage but is still standing.

Everyone manages to back off a ways while I manage to cast off two more [Freeze] spells.

After my spell hit it, no damage is visible but it pisses it off enough it finally moves from the center of the floor moving towards me.

“Quick, Slash, Archer, let’s get its attention.” Thirty-seven calls out as she dives in swinging her sword as it loudly reverberates in the small room.

I manage to hit with a fourth spell as Slash, and Archer attack.

Thirty-seven dives out of the way as another crushing blow hits at the point she was standing and I manage to hit with a fifth spell.

“It doesn’t seem to be affecting it much. I don’t think my magic is strong enough.”

Thirty-seven: “Try aiming for the joints, where the rocks come together.” Thirty-seven call out as a blow catches Archer flinging him to the wall. He doesn’t get up but he still seems to be breathing.

My six and seventh spell target a shoulder joint, and it begins to ice over.

“It’s working, Slash after he hits it one more time with his spell, you hit the joint!” Thirty-seven calls out as another blow comes flying at her. This time she is unable to completely dodge as she spins around landing on the floor.

“DAMNIT!” I scream launching an eighth spell hitting the shoulder.

Slash jumps in bringing his sword down cracking the ice and causing the rock arm to detach from the body crumbling to the floor.

Thirty-seven pulls herself to her feet and dives back in hitting the rock monster again.

The rock monsters remaining arm swings full circle, but Thirty-seven manages to dodge below it. Slash however gets clipped and he goes tumbling.

I pull two of the potions from my waistband and hand them to Block. “Take these and give them to Slash, and Archer.”

Block hesitates looking at Thirty-seven, but does as he is told.

I fire off a ninth spell this time aiming at a leg joint. I feel myself running out of magic power as I start to get dizzy.

Now being unprotected the rock monster decides to target me again. Slowly dragging its boulder like feet towards me its arm comes crashing down near me but I am able to move out of the way.

Archer, and Slash drink the potion and begin to recover as block dives in attacking the rock monster trying to pull it off of me.

Thirty-seven keeps slashing at the creature as I fire a tenth [Freeze] spell. The spell manages to hit the leg joint but the dizziness causes me to fall to my knees.

Everyone begins slashing, bashing, and stabbing at the leg joint. The rock monsters arm comes crashing down on the group, but Block drops his sword to brace his shield with both arms, absorbing most of the damage.

I struggle to my feet, and try to cast one more [Freeze] but the spell fizzles and I black out.

 

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