Chapter 24: Dwindling Funds

In the next few days the dungeon begins receiving many more of the D ranked adventurers, and although some do die most either retreat or are captured. If the captured ones are not packing any food I just break down their equipment, and release them the next morning.

I was surprised to find out it took 6 entire days for Korvasta to die without any food or water. Maybe I will start holding prisoners at least 3 days now even if they don’t have any supplies.

I have managed to begin building my xp back up so I can add a new floor. Two more groups have made it to the second floor, but even without the crimson brutes and elder they only manage to kill one or two crimson kobolds.

As soon as I build my new floor I am going to start replacing the crimson kobolds with rifts. Speaking of rifts some more of the kobold on the first floor have at least reached level 2 now, and the mage rift in the square cave room has reached level 4.

Belinda has paid a visit twice more, even after not meeting with her she still has talked to the kobold, but of course they just stare at her. I don’t even bother locking her up anymore, and she doesn’t seem like she plans to stop anytime soon.

One of the slow days I made my way back to the village. It seems the inn is complete now, and many of the villagers have opened stalls in the square selling pelts, meat, and other assorted goods. There are now a few more building commissions, and even a commission to clear some of the forest for possible village expansion.

Amy seems to be upset with Belinda about her trips up to the dungeon, but can’t stop her from going. They both continue to try to get me to join the adventurer’s guild when I visit, but no longer try to force me to take any commissions.

After seeing the progress of the town I make my way back to the dungeon. When I make it back inside there is a group of adventurers that has cleared the square cave room, and is in the process of clearing the second room.

I have seen this group a few times, and like the other times they attacked once the groups from the side rooms start reinforcing in the main room they retreat. Groups like that are a pain, if at least one would die then I would at least get something out of the attack.

After a few more days pass some of the adventurers have begun taking the weapons from the fallen kobold, so I have had to start replacing gear making my costs start to rise. However with all the new higher reward commissions, I have had 3 more groups of C rank adventurers.

One of the C rank groups even cleared the main room on the second floor luckily they were still no match for the 3 crimson kobold brutes and crimson kobold elder in Belinda’s groups gear. The last two of the group surrendered, but after holding them for a few days I barely broke even with xp, so I decided to take a despite action.

With a small leather pouch full of the small gold coins I have been getting off the adventurers I make my way back down to Tobes. I begin looking though the stalls outside on the main square, and I can’t make head or tails of human food.

When Belinda’s group was trapped in the dungeon there was quite a bit of the food they didn’t eat. Most of the adventurers used to carry some dried meat and bread with them, but lately they don’t bring any type of food with them.

I guess they figured out that once they were captured I would hold them longer if they had food. I guess that was an oversight on my part. Maybe I can fix that now.

I find a stall selling some of the dried meat, and by what Belinda’s group got at the dungeon I figured 1 days rations should amount to about 5 of the coins. Although they only ate a small portion of it, so I just started out taking out 10 of the small coins, and ask for that much of the dried meat.

The stall owner eyes me rather suspiciously then begins filling a sack with meat…

Wait a minute… He isn’t stopping…

After filling one of the small sacks he begins filling a second, luckily he stops after it is a quarter of the way full… I gather the two sacks rather awkwardly in my arms, and move on to look at the other stalls.

When I find the stall that has some of the bread the adventurers usually carry, this time I just ask for a few days supplies worth, and they only ask for 2 of the gold coins.

Making my way around I am unable to find anywhere that sells water, I do however find a liquid that I see several people drinking so I buy a small container of it.

Placing the bread in the second sack of meat I place both sacks over one shoulder and carry the small barrel of liquid under the other arm I start to slowly make my way back out of town when I hear someone call out to me.

Belinda: “Hey, Two-Twelve!”

“Yes?”

Belinda: “Quite a load you got there, why don’t you swing by the adventurer’s guild for a while and take a rest?”

“Maybe next time, I need to get going.”

Belinda: “Come on I insist.” –She moves over taking the small barrel from under my arm and starts walking away.-

I sigh and follow her to the adventurer’s guild. Once there she places the barrel in a corner out of the way then motions for me to have a seat at one of the tables.

I set the sacks down and glance at the commissions’ board and find the culprit to some of my more recent woes.

 

Kobold Weapons and Armor

Rank D+

Reward: 5 gold

Bring any weapon or armor from the kobolds in the Ancient Kobold Stronghold to the adventurer’s guild in Tobes to receive your reward.

 

Belinda spots me looking over the board.

Belinda: “You are always looking at the board, why don’t you go ahead, and join the adventurer’s guild so you can take a commission or two.”

“What’s with this commission?” –I say then head to the table sitting down.-

Belinda: “Well the kobold of the dungeon are so unique, so I wanted to see if the equipment they have is anything special, but so far it all has seemed pretty normal.”

Man she is killing me here… Next time she stops by the dungeon I am going to have to find a way to get her to drop this commission before it wipes me out…

Belinda: “If you want to join I am sure I can get a small group together for you to take that commission if you like.”

“Thanks anyway, but I will pass.”

Belinda: “What’s with all the supplies anyway? Are you hauling it for someone to earn some gold?”

“Well something like that.”

Belinda: “Seems like some back breaking work… How about this, you join the guild, I will pay for your ID, and Amy and I will personally help you get a few commissions taken care of?”

“Thanks really, but I will have to pass. I also need to get going, can’t leave my employer waiting now can I?”

Belinda: “Ah, sorry for holding you up. But remember if you change your mind we are here. “

I nod and pick up the supplies again, slowly making my way up to the dungeon. Struggling with the supplies up the mountain trail it takes me till midafternoon before I finally reach the dungeon.

Once inside I find that a D rank party managed to get down to the second floor, and they have even managed to take out 3 crimson kobolds. I quickly send in the crimson brutes and elder, and it throws the group into chaos causing them to instantly try to flee.

I manage to snag two of them before they escape into the stairs. Once they reach the top floor they quickly make their way to the entrance when I get a message about more intruders. Quickly I look at the screen, and see Belinda peering into the cave from the area outside…

“What is she doing now?”

The first group makes it to the cave, and once they exit Belinda catches them. They walk back down the mountain talking. I quickly send some of the supplies down to the captive C rankers, and then replace the fallen Crimson kobold.

“Took a major hit in xp today… How did a group like that get so far into the dungeon anyway?”

 

Belinda’s POV

After talking to the boss of the dungeon I felt really excited, I learned a bunch of information. That useless Korvasta’s decision might have actually turned into a great boon.

When the inn was finished the reward from the people taking the commission really took a toll on my funds, but now that I own a business in town the profits from it will go to new commissions. I decided to buy some more land, and set a few more commissions for some more buildings.

In only two days the inn is already packed, and that let me even place a few commissions with greater rewards. Two-Twelve came by again today, and I am not sure what his deal is but he always just looks at the commissions and leaves.

I asked around Tobes, and nobody has even heard of him. I talked to the town guard, and he just knew of him by description saying he showed up right after the bear attacked the village, which is what led to the discovery of the dungeon, but he didn’t know anything else about him.

I thought Two-Twelve was just an escaped slave, but maybe there is more to it then that…

A few days after a C rank group disappeared the dungeon I found Two-Twelve walking through town with what looked like enough supplies for a long while. He seemed eager to leave, but I was able to coax him into coming to the adventurer’s guild.

He made the same odd expression when looking at the commission board as he always does, I tried to talk him into joining the guild even throwing in a huge incentive but he still wouldn’t bite. After he left I decided I was going to follow him to see where he was heading off to.

I continued to follow him as he walked past all the houses, the inn, and headed out of town up into the mountain. Once he got to the entrance of the dungeon I seem to have lost sight of him.

I quickly made my way up the rest of the way, and was looking around the entrance when a battered group of adventurer’s exited the dungeon in haste.

I follow the group back down the mountain, asking them what happened.

Adventurer 1: “We came out here because of the high paid D rank commissions. We have fought kobold before so we thought it would be no problem.”

Adventurer 2: “We heard the rumors of the “intelligent” kobold, but after slowly clearing the entire first floor we thought it was all just talk.”

“You mean you three D rank adventurers cleared the entire first floor by yourselves?”

Adventurer 3: “We were 5 we lost Davis, and Slone inside…”

“I am sorry.”

Adventurer 2: “But once we reached the second floor everything changed…”

Adventurer 1: “We were doing fine, I mean I never fought a crimson kobold before, but we were managing just fine while taking very little damage.”

Adventurer 2: “But then everything changed… The kobold just instantly changed…”

Adventurer 1: “That was when the other kobold entered the room… As soon as they did the kobold we were fighting just completely changed tactics, behavior, and everything. They instantly killed Davis, and we tried to run but we lost Slone as well before making it to the stairs.”

“I have never heard of the kobold behaving like that…How long did it take you three to escape?”

Adventurer 3: “As soon as the kobolds behavior changed, and we lost Davis we quickly tried to escape. It was probably only a few minutes time before they changed and when we left the dungeon.”

“You’re saying it happened only a few minutes before you left the dungeon? All day the kobold acted like normal kobold but a few minutes before you left is when they started acting different?”

After the group nod they continue to make their way back down to Tobes then Belinda quickly gathers some things together and talks to Amy.

“I am going back up to the dungeon. If I don’t return within a few days send word to the capital that the dungeon might be dangerous after all.”

Amy: “Wait, what do you mean? What happened?”

“I have an idea, but I have to be sure. Just do as I ask.”

Amy nods as I get my armor on and I prepare to leave. With my new armor and spear I make my way back up to the dungeon.

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