Chapter 22: Belinda Gowen

My life has always been rough, well rough might not be the right word. More like boring, I Belinda Gowen the 3rd princess of the Gowen kingdom I’m just simply not needed, at least according to the courts standards at least.

You see I have 4 older brothers that are being vetted to replace my father, and two older sisters that take care most of the matters of state. I received the same education as them, but they simply don’t need me around.

When not suffering though the excessive schooling, I spent most of my time watching the knights training. After turning 13 the court received in a hero from a foreign kingdom, he was a kind old man, and he taught me about the adventurer’s guild and the dungeons.

I spent the next three years training how to fight. I had made up my mind, I was going to become a great adventurer. On my 16th birthday I joined the adventurer’s guild. My servant and dear friend Amy Torres came with me.

After a year of completing minor commissions, a commission came in from a small hunting community called Tobes. It talked about an ancient dungeon that had been long since sealed off inside the mountain. The task was to join two nobles in investigating the dungeon filled with kobold.

Belinda: “What do you think Amy? It will be our first dungeon commission, but it is just kobold.”

Amy: “The commission says it’s for Gunnar Travin, and Leo Luis. Wasn’t the Travin family the one that sent you a marriage proposal?”

Belinda: “I don’t see how that should matter. Besides I thought you would jump at the opportunity to join a party with your beloved Leo Luis.”

Amy: “It’s not like that!” –She says puffing out her cheeks and blushes.-

Belinda: “in any case it will take us about a week to get there, so we better get some supplies.”

What happened next was beyond expectation however, when we arrived in the dungeon the kobold held within seemed to have an intelligence never before seen in a kobold. Needless to say I became interested.

After gloriously failing in the investigation we were held captive by the monsters of the dungeon. They released us after a week, but Gunnar and Leo had enough with that though they ran home. I on the other hand became intrigued.

After quickly returning home we gathered as much information we could, but nothing we found explained the ancient kobold stronghold, and how long it has been there. I decided now is my chance to make a mark in the adventurer’s guild.

Amy and I returned to the village of Tobes, and set up base in their adventurer’s guild. Well I call it a adventurer’s guild, but the locals look it just as a drinking hall as they very seldom have adventurers come to the small village.

I set up a few simple commissions including one to build a suitable lodging for the adventurers that will be coming now for the dungeon. I had to set the reward for the commissions double normal commissions for now, nobody wanted to come way out in the forest for just some D rank dungeon.

That brought the adventurers in, however the quality of adventurers is still lacking, but the commissions have started to progress. That sleazy slave master Garm even came though throwing over a dozen slaves lives away in the dungeon. Too bad that guy didn’t lose his life instead of his poor slaves.

A week or so after we returned a strange guy come in, he seemed clueless about everything, but when he said his name was Two-Twelve it all sort of clicked. He seemed really interested in becoming an adventurer but when he found out his name would be recorded he hesitated.

He must be a escapee, but you won’t ever see me turn him in. I encouraged him to take the inn construction commission, so he could get some money without having to register but he still seemed skittish.

We have been set up in Tobes for a few weeks now. That poor slave has visited a few more times but we still can’t get him to join the adventurer’s guild, the inn is almost complete now. A few more people have become prisoners of the dungeon, of course we don’t know if the groups that haven’t returned are been held captive, or if they have perished. All we know for sure is so far none of their adventurer IDs have been recovered, which in itself adds another mystery to this dungeon.

I set a commission for someone to give them self-up to the dungeon to find out more about the dungeon, but no one has taken it.  I found the perfect opportunity when that sleazy Garm returned, and I managed to buy two of his slaves from him before he headed to the dungeon.

I promised the two slaves I would release them, and even give them their adventurer IDs if they took the commission for me. They seemed grateful until Garm returned by himself, but I tried to reassure them telling me that they shouldn’t lose their lives if they only surrender.

After some preparations Amy and I turned the two over to the dungeon and returned to the guild. I have never been as nervous as I watched their IDs. After a few hours they are still alive so that seems promising.

“I really hope they release them…”

Amy: “And get a reply to the letter you sneaked into the packs?”

 -I awkwardly laugh. – “Aw… You knew about that Hu? Well there always has been the legend about the dungeons being alive, and I just was kind of hoping I could prove that old legend to be true…”

Amy: “I am sure there is just some kind of demon, or something at the depth of the dungeon toying with us. Even if you get a reply I wouldn’t take it as truth, or any sort of confirmation.”

“You may be right, but still if I could prove there is an intelligence behind this dungeon. Then I would definitely leave my mark in the history of adventurers I would say.”

Amy: “Are you not worried that the dungeon will demand things like virgin sacrifices or something in return for information?”

“Well surely if the dungeon wanted something like that, it would have never released us.”

Amy: “You mean you’re still a virgin?”

“Of course I am. Aren’t you?”

Amy: “uh…Hey look its Two-Twelve. Two-Twelve, have you finally decided to join the adventurer’s guild?”

Two-Twelve: “No sorry, I just wanted have another look around…”

 I try to encourage Two-Twelve with a smile the say.

“If have any questions or concerns please let us know, we are glad to help in any way we can.”

Amy: “…”

Amy and I returned to the dungeon early on the 7th day. Luckily the dungeon released the two slaves, but they had no reply from the dungeon. However when we returned to the village we learned some valuable information.

“You mean they moved you to actual locked rooms after the second day? Wasn’t that the day them two groups made their way up there? I was sure that would of messed up our mission, but I couldn’t really stop them.”

Slave: “Yes they removed us from the first room, and as you said the monsters didn’t seem that they could move from floor to floor. They had to wait at the stairwell as they wanted us to move down on our own.”

Slave 2: “We also can confirm that there are crimson kobold on the second floor. The large room we entered had one door off to the side that they lead us into, but also one at the end of it. The room they lead us too us too was a long hallway with several doors it seemed like a prison block.”

Slave: “I am not sure why they just didn’t put us there from the start.”

“No prisoners have said they have been moved to the second floor before, maybe the adventurers attacking that day had something to do with it.”

Slave: “We could hear the combat, when they moved us there only seemed to be a few kobold left on the first floor maybe that was the reason they moved us?”

“Still if they had prison rooms prepared all this time why not just put you there from the start. Also the last group that made it to the second floor said there was only one door from the big room in the second floor.”

I pay the two guys and gives them their adventurer IDs, and the men take them leaving gratefully.

Amy: “Maybe this dungeon isn’t as big as we imagined? But dungeons are known to shrink, change, and grow. Maybe this is just its response to the situation?”

“But that leaves the question as to why until now was a prison not required. If the dungeon’s sudden appearance is in correlation with the intelligent being that now controls it that might mean we might be completely wrong about everything we know about the dungeon.”

Amy: “What do you mean?”

“Well what if this isn’t and ancient dungeon, but a brand new one?”

Amy: “But how can that be possible?”

“Well we do know that dungeons, regardless of how many are destroyed, often pop up over and over. If this dungeon truly was an ancient dungeon shouldn’t the monsters be more than just kobold? Even with their intelligence with a strong group of C rank adventurers they wouldn’t stand a chance.”

Amy: “You got all that just from the fact they moved them to a different area, what if that is only the monsters on the top floors?”

“Of course it will take confirmation, but the first group to find the second floor also said there was only one door at the far side of the room, now there is another, and it seems to be a prison. I don’t find that to be a coincidence.”

Amy: “What are you saying?”

“From what we know there was no prison before, but after the ones we left there, a attack took place leaving the top floor short of monsters, so the dungeon grew a prison on the second floor. What I am suggesting is why grow the prison only one floor down? Surely if the dungeon was much bigger you would put the prison in at a much deeper level.”

Amy: “Well I guess, but if this is indeed a new dungeon then isn’t that a bit troubling?”

“How so?”

Amy: “Well if the dungeon is brand new and kobold are born in it now, and these kobold are so much stronger than normal kobolds. Then what is going to happen when more powerful monsters are born inside?”

“I see what you mean. However if the dungeon becomes a danger to anyone outside the dungeon we can always call for a hero then.”

Amy: “I guess that means your research doesn’t end here?”

“I think we are just getting started.”

Two days later started the events that would change my life forever.

“Korvasta, what are you doing here?”

Korvasta: “What else, I was promised a dungeon. I am here to collect on the deal.”

“Not this dungeon! This is a new dungeon it won’t give you a hero’s title.”

Korvasta: “Not by what your reports said.”

“There have been new developments, and this isn’t a dungeon that should be destroyed! It is not even posing any danger. This is the kind of dungeon that provides a major boost in the economy there is no way you can destroy it!””

Korvasta: “My group and I will set out in the morning, and I already received the king, and your eldest brother’s approval.”

Amy and I spend the next few hours trying to find a way to stop Korvasta, but as the sun sets we still can’t do anything…

Just after midnight, with Amy sleeping I make up my mind, and I quietly sneak out of the room.

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