Early the next morning Belinda arrives at the dungeon. Her eyes are bloodshot, and it looks like she didn’t get any sleep. Apparently she spent most of the night looking over [Menu]. After a 15 or so minute rant about how great the dungeon magic is, she tells me about a few screens she had prepared beforehand.
After following her instructions I see screens with several spells, and even monsters she wishes to purchase. Totaling it all up it will only leave me with a small amount of xp. With the constant flow D rank adventurers in my dungeon I don’t think I am at risk of starving, but I fear if a strong group enters I will have no emergency funds. I also only replaced two of the 6 golems that were destroyed by Listel.
Belinda: “I know this leaves you pretty tight on xp, but I don’t plan on setting out till next week, so I will try setting some commissions to build us up before then.”
Belinda’s Shopping List:
Fire Protection 100xp
Heal Wounds 100xp
Small Weak Earth Golems x2 375xp
Attack Dog 25xp
“Is that really all that you want?”
Belinda: “Well I had quite a few items as well, but I have to go to the capital to change my rank, so I might as well just buy the items there, I won’t have to waste xp that way.”
“But the monsters, will you really be able to get xp anywhere with two small golems and a dog?”
Belinda: “There is a dungeon not far from the capital that has at least 10 floors of weak monsters like goblins, I plan on starting off there. I should be able to strengthen them up quite good without them being in much danger.”
“Well, ok if you’re sure…”
Belinda: “Yea, Most adventurers from Gowen start there.”
“Well I understand the golems, but the dog? The one that came here seemed pretty useless even against the normal kobold.”
Belinda: “You are highly underestimating your monsters. The kobold here in your dungeon, are easily just as strong, if not more so then even crimson kobold found elsewhere.”
“I don’t do anything special, I don’t see why people keep saying that.”
Belinda: “Really? You don’t use [Menu] to direct them?”
“No, I just let them go about on their own.”
Belinda: “Why do they act like normal kobold when you are not in the dungeon then?”
Belinda: “Several reports have come in that every once in a while the kobold act normally, and after finding out about you I checked it out. That and during my birthday when you passed out the kobold were acting normally.”
Belinda: “You really don’t do anything? After learning of [Menu], and how you can use it to communicate, I thought you just personally orchestrated every battle yourself.”
“Now you are giving me too much credit.”
I then open [Communication] to show her, but much like when I sent Thirty-seven messages unintentionally, the kobold’s tabs are filled with orders, tactics, and instructions.
Belinda: “What is it?”
“Well, when I was born I was a little different than other dungeons. I didn’t seem to know a lot of the things that all the others are naturally born with, and my [Menu] was a little different as well. Most of the time it’s a disadvantage but sometimes it’s not.”
I continue on to explain the “errors” in my [Menu], and about how [Communication] sometimes works without me knowing it like it did with Thirty-seven. Although I leave out the details of what the things I said.
Belinda: “So does that mean now that you know your monsters are going to get weaker, because the messages won’t happen anymore?”
“Well I think as long as I don’t intentionally suppress them, they will continue. Even with Thirty-seven when I tried to prevent it, when I got emotional sometimes they would still slip though…”
Belinda: “Does that mean I will start receiving the same types of messages from you?”
My voice shows a little panic as I say. “I sure as hell hope not…”
“But to be on the safe side, if you do receive any “odd” messages from me please just delete them…”
We continue talking the rest of the morning, and when an adventurer group makes their way into the dungeon Belinda gets to see the battle from the other side for the first time.
For some reason Belinda still insists on eating, so Thirty-seven and Belinda share a meal at noon. Belinda tries to talk to Thirty-seven but seems to have very little luck.
After lunch I show Belinda the Dungeon Core Information book. Belinda is floored by a few of the dungeons. She simply couldn’t believe the “god” Faron was actually just a dungeon core.
Belinda manages to find the dungeon that she plans to head to, and learns more information about it in 1 page then the entire capital has in the 100 or so years of investigation.
Current Dungeon Core #245 [Simon] Location: Central Gowen Plains
Dungeon: Leona ruins Crystal: medium water moonstone
Dungeon contains: 187 floor, 1567 room, 35,348 monsters, 2425 traps.
Dungeon core level: 143 XP: 33354
Dungeon active: 231 years
A medium dungeon using the ruins of the old capital city of Leona, it serves as a training ground for the Gowen army, and new adventurers. During the Leona uprising 150 years ago the royal family fled into the depths of the dungeon. Members of the rebel up risers began a purge of the dungeon to locate the royal family. In efforts of preservation Simon created the very first teleporting trap sending the royal family back to the rebel army. Many dungeons have sense adapted the [Teleport Trap] to suit their own needs. Deepest floor mapped by humans 47, Deepest floor explored 53, Most favored monster cave salamander warlord, most favored trap teleporting trap, most purchased monster goblin (rift), most purchased trap teleporting trap, boss monster serpentine water dragon.
Previous Dungeon Core #245 [Bowen] (Deceased) Location: Senyen Cove
Dungeon: Senyen cavern Crystal: small water aquamarine
Dungeon at its peak contained 27 floors, 124 rooms, 1342 monsters, 227 traps
Dungeon core level: 52 XP: 10726
Dungeon active: 48 years
A cavern at the sea’s edge off the small island kingdom of Senyen, humans of Senyen used the dungeon as a training ground until they began to suffer to a pirate armada. The dungeon was then purged to grant the king’s military general for the power of a hero. Most favored monster siren, most favored trap whirlpool trap, most purchased monster armored giant crab, most purchased trap flooding room, boss monster siren queen. (Deceased)
Belinda: “The experts have all said it can’t be more than 100 floors deep, but this says it’s closer to 200… And what’s with 35 THOUSAND monsters.
“Well if the dungeon is that big, and you don’t plan on going any deeper than a dozen floors or so I don’t think I will need to contact Simon.”
Belinda: “You know looking though all these pages, you seem to be the only dungeon core that doesn’t have a name. Why is that?”
“Oh… Well at first I just could never choose one that I liked, and then I just got used to Two-Twelve. There was a screen for me to change my name, but I haven’t seen it anywhere in a few months so maybe I missed my chance.”
For the rest of the week Belinda learns everything she can about dungeons, while she teaches me the things down in Tobes that I will have to attend to in her absence. Belinda continues to spend her lunches with Thirty-seven, and they have managed to begin talking more, but still not to the point where I would call it an actual conversation.
I haven’t made any progress with Thirty-seven as well, and she doesn’t seem to be opening up to me like she did in Madam Erin’s dungeon. Maybe I just need to give her more time.
As Belinda prepares to leave she learns the spells a day or two in advanced so she could practice them, and I let her name the dog, and the two golems. When I asked her why she named the golems Mindy, and Tanya, she simply stated they were named after her hard headed sisters. She just chose to name the dog Rufus.
Right before she leaves I have her exchange her current armor and weapons with her original set. Not even a day after I watch her set out, I begin getting swamped with the work from Tobes,
I try to spend as much time in the dungeon as possible now that I found out the monsters are weaker when I am not around, but I usually spend my entire evening in Tobes addressing the needs of the village.
Only after one week, I already begin to wonder if it was all worth it. Belinda has probably just reached the capital, and is probably sitting back taking it easy while I am forced to do all this work… I wonder what would happen if I just confined myself up in the dungeon…
Belinda promised to help me out though, going as far as binding herself to me as a boss monster, so I will have to trust her, and do the work I promised her.
Belinda keeps in contact with me daily through [Communication]. She informed me today that she has now left the capital, and is on her way to the other dungeon.
Thirty-seven voices her disapproval one day when I get to busy, and forget to send her food. I feel bad afterwards and apologize, but I consider it a win that she is starting to open up again even if it was in the form of a complaint.
When Thirty-seven and I take our weekly walk around the lake, one of the hunters from the village sneaks up and startles us.
Hunter: “Hey hey, Belinda hasn’t even been gone two weeks yet, and you are already sneaking around up here in the mountains with another woman.”
Thirty-seven panics, cowering behind me. I tell the hunter that Thirty-seven is my sister, and with the villagers all still thinking I am a slave that has escaped I manage to convince him that Thirty-seven is terrified of new people because of it.
Once dealing with the hunter and returning to the dungeon it still takes another hour before I can get Thirty-seven calmed down. Since then I have been unable to get her to go outside, she now takes walks around the third floor of the dungeon.
At the end of the second week another building that Belinda had commissioned has been completed, and the villagers asked what the next building to be commissioned to be built would be. When I didn’t have an answer for them, many started throwing out suggestions.
I am not quite sure what it is, but most of the adventurers and villagers wanted it, so construction has begun on a large brothel. The men of the village often stop me wanting to buy me a drink now, when I make my rounds though town.
A few days later the woman running the bakery, I think her name is Susan, stops me asking about the brothel. She has apparently become good friends with Belinda after moving here to run the bakery for her.
Susan: Two-Twelve, does Belinda know what you are having built in town in her name?
Susan: “The brothel, Belinda told me to keep an eye on you, but to think as soon as she turns her back you decide to open a brothel.”
“Is it bad?”
Susan: “You don’t even know what they talked you into building do you?” –She sighs. – “Well it is true it will keep a small bit of crime down, but it’s not exactly something the princess would want her name attached too, so you better make sure everyone knows she has no part of it. You hear me?”
Susan: “I would also suggest you commission a building for town guards. Poor Herald has been doing his best, but he would really use a few more men.”
“Thanks, I will keep that in mind.”
The next day I get a message from Belinda though [Communication].
Belinda: “Hey, what is this I hear about you commissioning a brothel in Tobes?”
“How did you here that so far away?”
Belinda: “I have my ways…Please tell me you didn’t have them start building it next to the new school house I was building?”
“They said they needed more room, so I had them start building it at the far end of town, where they recently cleared the trees out.”
Belinda: “Well at least that’s something. When you send a commission to the capital for staff, make sure you put on behalf of the village leader, not the adventurer’s guild…”
“Ok, how are things going on your end?”
Belinda: “I already lost Mindy, but Rufus and Tanya are working out ok. We might not get as deep as I hoped now, but I will do my best I promise.”
Belinda told me that she, Rufus, and Tanya are all gaining levels, and that she is going to bring a lot of xp back with her, but when I ask for details she says it’s a secret. I have tried to bring up their status, but I guess with the distance it doesn’t work.
At the end of the month Belinda tells me they are done at Leona ruins, and that they heading back to the capital for a day before returning to the dungeon. The construction on the brothel has been going at an extreme speed, even with a building as large as the inn, and they are already more than half way completed.
Madam Erin sent me a message asking how Thirty-seven was doing, when I told her I haven’t made much progress she told me just to hang in there and keep working at it.
I haven’t heard from Alex in a while, but Sara seems to be doing ok. She has had a group of adventurers hanging around her dungeon the last few weeks killing off a few of the fairies and pixies, but they haven’t discovered her dungeon yet.
On the day before when Belinda is expected back, Thirty-seven finally leaves the dungeon again, and we take a walk around the lake. Once we reach the far side of the lake Thirty-seven removes her boots, sitting on a log, she then places her feet in the water.
Thirty-seven: “I know I have been a bother to you, and for that I apologize.”
“What are you talking about? You are no bother, not one bit.”
Thirty-seven: “With this weak body constantly requiring maintenance, I don’t see how I can be any assistance to anyone.”
“Maybe when Belinda returns she can help you get used to it, and after all she was human for 18 years, and still managed to do so much.”
Thirty-seven: “I have no desire getting used to this body.”
“Living with the body of a human might give you the chance to understand them, and free you of your fear.”
Thirty-seven: “I would rather kill them all.”
“Well that’s path many dungeons take, but you have to be able to look at them without being frozen in fear to be able to kill them.”
Thirty-seven doesn’t say anything else, getting up, and finishing our walk we then head back to the dungeon.