Chapter 33: Dinner Date

After returning from the meeting held by the elders, Belinda was wiped out after a group of adventurers made their way through the dungeon. After catching each other up Belinda finally brings up the subject of her own bedroom.

Checking the balance of XP I find that even after replacing the monster she lost in the fight, there is just over 1500xp remaining, I decide to add a room off to the side a bit away from the current rooms. I make a large room 100 feet by 100 feet with a 10 foot ceiling, leaving her with 500 xp to do whatever she wants with her new space.

Belinda: “The room is huge, but it’s not connected to anything.”

“Well I figured you don’t want adventurer’s sneaking around your bedroom while you are sleeping, so I figured the only disadvantage of having a room not accessible is that you can’t acquire xp there, but that won’t matter for your bedroom.”

Belinda: “Why make it so big then?”

“Well using the remaining 500xp you can build walls and such where ever you want. Making your bedroom as large or small as you want, and this way the unused section can be used as storage.”

Belinda: “Why does it feel my bedroom has turned into a byproduct of your preexisting plan?”

“Storage isn’t actually necessary because any items can be stored in the dungeon inventory, and monsters can be stored in the crystal, so it’s really not a benefit to me at all…”

Using [Menu] I give Belinda the option to use 500xp any way she wants, and she begins work on her room. She starts off with two walls only using about a quarter of the space. She then starts adding misc, items, furniture, and décor to the room.

At one point she gets buys a ton of blankets draping them from the walls and ceiling, but after returning to the core room, and looking at the screen her shoulders droop. She returns to her room pulling all the blankets down folding them up, and putting them under her bed.

While she continues to work on her room I go, and visit Thirty-seven. When I return to the core room Belinda is dragging my desk across the floor in the core room moving against one of the sides of the room. She then drags the screen that displays her room down behind the desk.

Belinda: “Now, don’t touch that screen you hear me?”

“Humans can’t make it in there so I don’t see a reason to need it, so it should be fine.”

Even though I just agreed to do as she asked Belinda doesn’t seem happy about it giving me a sharp glare. When it is all said and done, Belinda uses all of the xp giving to her down to the very last point.

Amazing that Belinda was so tired when I returned from the meeting, yet she has spent the entire afternoon working on her room nonstop. She even asks if she can take Thirty-seven to show the bedroom to her. After I agree, she happily moves down to talk to Thirty-seven while I decide to head to bed.

When I wake the next morning and notice Thirty-seven not in her room, I move the screen behind the desk out. Belinda’s room is covered in bright colored pillows, she has all kinds of furniture, rugs, tapestry’s, and such covering almost the entire room.

Belinda is sleeping soundly in her bed with both arms, and legs wrapped around Thirty-seven who is laying there staring at the ceiling. After placing the screen back behind the desk I prepare Thirty-seven’s meal, and transfer to Belinda’s room

“I brought you something to eat.”

Thirty-seven: “Thanks.”

When Thirty-seven pulls herself free of Belinda getting out of bed, Belinda starts to wake up.

“What are you doing here anyway?”

Thirty-seven: “Belinda insisted I stay, something about a housewarming, or something to that effect.”

Belinda: -Sleepily- “What was that?”

“I was just asking why Thirty-seven stayed in your room last night.”

Belinda: “Oh…-She quickly jolts up coving herself with her blankets, and throws a pillow at my face.- “What are you doing in my room?”

“It was time for Thirty-seven’s meal, and she happened to be here, so I brought it.”

Belinda: “You don’t enter a woman’s room without knocking first!” –She throws another pillow-

“There isn’t a door.”

Belinda: -She quickly looks around the room.- “Then at least send a message, don’t just barge into my room without permission!” –She throws a third pillow.-

Thirty-seven is calmly eating the food sitting on the table while I am pelted with pillows, once I am pelted with a fourth pillow Belinda’s words no longer make much sense so I just transfer back to the core room.

A little while later Belinda returns Thirty-seven to her room, and then joins me in the core room. After looking at me she gets angry all over again.

Belinda: “If I am going to be living here from now on, we need to set up some ground rules!”

“What exactly do you have in mind?”

Belinda: “No entering my room without permission is a big number one, and also no peeking into my room through one of the screens.”

“Ok.”

Belinda: “Oh and you have to at least eat one meal with me a week down in Tobes, and I mean actually eat!”

“Why?”

Belinda: “Because I asked you to, and we will start today to make up for being rude to me this morning, by barging in my room.”

“Fine, what else?”

Belinda: “We need to come up with another plan if you have to leave again, I will do what is required of me, but I don’t want to have to kill another adventurer if I don’t have to…”

“Well I think we will have around four months to come up with something, so is there anything else?”

Belinda: “Just because I can’t think of anything else at the moment, doesn’t mean that’s it, ok?”

“Fine, I guess.”

Belinda: “…We I guess I need to get to Tobes, and make sure everything is going alright. Now don’t forget this evening you need to come down to Tobes to eat dinner with me!”

“Ok, I got it…”

Belinda stares at me for a minute like she wants to say something else, but I guess she decided against it because she transfers to the entrance of the dungeon, and walks down the mountain toward Tobes.

A few hours later Belinda sends me a warning that Garm, the slave master is heading back to the dungeon.

This time when Garm arrives he only has 5 slaves with him but each one looks experienced. Each still wear a slave collar, but this time they are equip with decent weapons and armor. One of them even appears to be a mage or some kind.

Garm: “I have sunk to much money into this dungeon to back away now. I don’t care if the crystal has protection from the kingdom, once you make it to the crystal room, come get me, and we can claim it was an accident.”

The slaves nod then proceed into the dungeon. The group has obviously seen combat as they quickly tear through the group in the square stone room. Once they reach the large room, one of the group manages to set off a trap, but they all manage to escape it unharmed.

The group is well coordinated, but doesn’t seem much tougher than any of the C rank groups that have entered, so I am not too worried yet. While they systematically clear the side rooms on the first floor I decide to ask Belinda a question.

“Hey, what happens to slaves if their master dies?”

Belinda: “Well if they are in a city they are usually round up and resold, but with being way out here, if Garm happens to fall they could disappear with no one being the wiser. Why do you have an idea to get rid of that guy?”

“This guy is starting to get annoying, so I figured if I could deal with him I should while I have the chance.”

Belinda: “You won’t hear any complaints from me. Let me know how it goes.”

Once the group makes it to the second floor, the mage changes from offensive to defensive, casting barriers and heals, instead of fire spells. Even with one less person attacking, they still are holding their own against the group of crimson kobold on the second floor.

I decide to not worry to much about the rifts, and focus my plan on the third floor. After the battle with Listel, and hearing how Belinda took care of the group yesterday I re-arrange the monsters on the third floor.

I let Thirty-seven know what’s going on and decide to move her to the storage area outside of Belinda’s room… Maybe after the battle I will move all her things there permanently, the only problem would be she couldn’t leave on her own, but that shouldn’t matter to Thirty-seven. Oh well we will go over that after the battle.

Once the group reaches the third floor I use Rufus to lure them into the side room opposite of where Thirty-seven is staying. Once there, the Golem move in blocking their escape. The mage ends up switching back to offensive against the golem.

With the gear they stole from the kobold upstairs and the mage, they actually start doing quite a bit of damage to one of the golems. The mage however runs out of magic after I switch in a different golem having the injured one leave.

Panic starts to envelope the group, and they start making mistakes. Once the golem beat them up pretty good the golem stops attacking, and just start guarding the door. I have Rufus enter the room carrying a note in his mouth. Once he drops the note on the floor he leaves back out the way he came, and the group hesitantly picks up the paper.

The one that picks up the note asks if anyone can read, everyone shakes their heads but the mage, So when they had the mage the note he reads it out loud.

Mage: “Slaves of Garm, If any of you wish to leave this dungeon alive I only ask two things. Leave here only with what you entered with, and I ask for you to give up your master in your place… That’s all it says.”

Slave: “What do we do?”

Slave 2: “Are you kidding, If Garm is taken by the dungeon we can go wherever we want.”

Slave 3: “But how do we get him to come in here?”

Mage: “That’s easy, He expects us to bring him to the dungeon’s crystal, and we tell him we found it leading him here instead.”

Slave 4: “But can we really believe the dungeon will let us go afterwards like the note said?”

Slave 3: “Well you know Garm isn’t going to come save us, I don’t think we have much of a choice.”

Slave: “Even if it doesn’t let us, just knowing that bastard Garm is suffering the same fate, is enough to convince me.”

Mage: “What if someone finds out what we did?”

Slave 2: “Is there really a worse fate then what we have right now?”

Slave: “You guys can continue to make up your minds, I am going to go tell that bastard that we reached the crystal.”

When the slave walks to the door the golem lets him pass the others look at each other then quickly try to follow but the golem blocks their path.

The other slaves object but the slave outside the door heads upstairs. He slowly makes his way back though the dungeon arriving at the cave entrance.

Slave: -bowing his head.- “Master, we found the crystal…”

Garm: “Excellent, you cleared all the monsters right?”

Slave: “None remain…”

Garm: “Perfect.”

Garm walks into the dungeon, the slave trailing behind him. They reach the third floor easy enough, and when Garm enters the room with the rest the golem quickly blocks the path.

Garm: “What the hell is going on?!”

He quickly pulls his sword but the golem easily knocks it from his hand.

Garm: “You’re all traitors, I will see you put to death I swear!”

Slave: “You have to make it out of here first.”

The other slaves look towards the golem questioningly. As the first one steps past the golem Garm quickly darts for the door but the golem knock him back. The other slaves quickly retreat from the room, and the mage however hesitates.

Mage: “We won’t make it anywhere with these collars. Where is the key Garm?”

Garm: “You think I would be stupid enough to keep it on me?”

The golem swiftly brings down one of its boulder fists crushing Garm’s leg. Garm lets out a loud scream, but instantly passes out. The mage quickly goes through Garm’s belongings finding the key amongst them.

Without another word the slaves quickly escape the dungeon, they don’t even stop to remove their collars until they are well outside of the cave. Without any monsters on the first or second floor I leave Garm in the room with the golem guarding him. One of crimson kobold brutes move in stripping him of his belongings while he remains passed out, and I add them to the dungeon inventory.

Acquired: [235 gold], [Top-Quality Full-plate Armor], [Dwarven Sword], [Top-Quality Black Leather Gambeson], 2 [Black Leather Belt Pouches]

I then inform Belinda of Garm’s capture, and the release of the five slaves.

Belinda: “It wasn’t too much trouble was it?”

“They made it to the third floor, and seen the golems, but being escaped slaves, I doubt they will repeat anything that happened here today.”

Belinda: “You are probably right. You managed to clear the dungeon with plenty of time, so don’t forget dinner in a few hours…”

“There are only the monsters left on the third floor…”

Belinda: “You know as well as I do nobody set out to attack the dungeon in the evening. You better be here…”

“Fine…”

I decide to then move all the items from the other room, into the storage area with Thirty-seven.

“Here you go, I thought that with this room not being connected to the outside, you wouldn’t have to worry about intruders finding you.”

Thirty-seven: “If you think that’s best.”

“It’s a little inconvenient for you I am sure, but I do think you will be safer.”

“I have to go meet with Belinda down in Tobes, for a while but we should be back before long, is there anything else you need?”

Thirty-seven: “I will manage.”

“You do know you can ask for things right?”

Thirty-seven: “You already provide everything I need to continue surviving, that is all that I require at the moment.”

“Ok, but just remember if you want anything, anything at all just let me know.”

Thirty-seven: “Very well. I will keep that in mind.”

I then leave the dungeon, heading down to Tobes. Belinda seems excited when I walk in the door to the adventurer’s guild, but she seems rather busy at the moment. I spend my time looking over the commissions on the board.

It doesn’t take Belinda long to wrap up what she is working on then, she then joins me at a table. After spending a few minutes talking about nothing in particular she says.

Belinda: “Unfortunately Tobes still doesn’t have a restaurant, but I had someone get something ready for us.

She then gets up moving to the back room, she returns a few minutes later with a large covered plate in one hand and two smaller plates in the other. She sets the large covered plate in the center of the table, and puts one of the smaller plates in front of myself and one in front of her chair.

Belinda: “I haven’t had time to check but Susan promised it would be something good.”

When she removes the lid from the plate, underneath there is some kind of small roasted bird, all the feathers have been ripped out, it’s been beheaded, and gutted. I am not quite sure what to think of the meal but by the envious eyes of several adventurers at other tables must mean it looks appetizing to a human…

“I only have to try it right?”

Belinda: “Oh come on this looks wonderful.”

She cuts a large chuck from the bird placing it on my plate, then takes a small section from the side putting it on her plate.

“If it looks so good, why are you only getting such a small piece…”

Belinda: “That’s just the way things work.”

“…”

I slowly cut off a small piece raising it to my mouth. After placing it in my mouth and chewing a few times, I begin to cough and choke a bit. It tastes like someone rolled the bird around in the grass then burnt it in a fire… It tastes like weeds and coal…

I go to state how bad it tastes, but I notice Belinda seems to be enjoying the bite she is eating…After eating her bite she asks me.

Belinda: “What are you telling me you don’t like it either?”

“…its very odd…It’s a mangled bird, that has been covered in weeds, and rolled around in the coals of a fire…”

Belinda: “It’s not been mangled, just been prepared, they are not weeds they are called herbs, and it was cooked in a brick oven, the heat might of come from coals but it wasn’t rolled around in it…”

Belinda seems a little disappointed, and she then gets me a mug of the alcohol I drank at her birthday party.

Belinda: “I know you will drink this, so drink that, and at least pretend you are enjoying the food…”

I take several drinks between each bite, but even after finishing my third mug I am still unable to even finish what is on the plate. Meanwhile Belinda spends the entire time just talking about the simple things she did during the day, or interactions she had with people…

I finally just push the plate away unable to finish any more. Then a woman I haven’t seen around Tobes before enters the adventurer’s guild. Once she spots Belinda she heads straight towards her.

Denova: “Oh thank goodness I caught you. I heard you usually are gone by now.”

Belinda: “Yes, well I was just having a bit of dinner before heading home…”

The woman pulls a chair from another table sitting down with us.

Denova: “I am glad I caught you, I seem to be just about ready to open shop tomorrow, but the town leader said I had to get your approval first. I think he is just worried that the shop was put in while you were gone, and he doesn’t want to be the one to sign off on it behind a princess’s back.”

Belinda: “Yes well, although I have my reservations, after talking to several people I trust they told me as much as I don’t like the idea I should still allow you to open up anyway, so let me stamp your form, and I can get back to dinner…”

Denova: “Sure no problem.”

Denova pulls out several pieces of paper spreading them across the table. Belinda begins looking over the paperwork.

Belinda: “Wait a minute what are these for?”

Denova: -She chuckles nervously- “Yea, you see once I seen the building. A fine building mind you, I noticed the only place to get a drink was way over here on this side of town, so I figured it would make things easier to be able to handle it there as well.”

Belinda: “And this one?”

Denova: “Well, you see sometimes adventurers don’t rightly have any gold on them, so they often trade other items for services, this will just allow us to then sell them items without a problem. I don’t want to get in trouble after all.”

Belinda: “This one says you are requesting a hold on the adjacent lot for future development…”

Denova: “Well the town is growing pretty quickly, I don’t want to end up stuck unable to grow my business.”

Belinda: “You know what, fine.” –She stamps the papers with her seal.- “Now can I get back to my dinner?”

Denova: “Sure thing, sure thing. You won’t regret it I promise. I even let your friend here in with a freebie, he can have his pick.”

The woman then winks at me, as Belinda noticeably beings to get upset.

Belinda: “That won’t be necessary!”

Denova: “Ok ok, I didn’t know it went like that.” –She quickly gathers her papers stuffing them in a bag slung around her shoulder. She then winks again at me. – “The offer still stands though.” –She then quickly retreats from the adventurer’s guild, but not before removing one of the bird legs from the plate on the table munching on it as she goes.-

“Who was that?”

Belinda: “That’s the headache I have to deal with because of you.”

“Me?”

Belinda: “Yes! You are the one that decided to build the brothel, and she is the woman that accepted the commission to run it, so in turn I am the one that has to deal with her.”

“She seemed pretty interested in me stopping by the shop tomorrow. Shouldn’t I at least check it out? You told me I need to learn more about humans.”

Belinda: “It’s a sex shop! Fine there I said it. You built a place for humans to go pay money to screw around with the women that work there. Now do you understand why I am upset?”

“Not really… I mean if you told me that from the beginning I would have known I wouldn’t have been interested in the place, but as to why you are upset in the matter. I don’t have a clue…”

Belinda: “You know what fine, I don’t care! I am going to go to bed.”

Belinda gets up storming out of the adventurer’s guild leaving me sitting at the table with the half eaten mangled bird… One of the adventurers at the table next to ours laughs getting up heading over to me.

Adventurer: “Mate, you really screwed that one up, your Two-Twelve right?”

“Yea, that’s right…”

Adventurer: “Nice to meetcha, call me Veto. Do you mind? –He asks while motioning toward the bird.-

“No, go ahead.”

Veto: “Dad taught me never let a good thing pass you by. I think he would roll over in his grave if he seen you just now.” –He says while chowing down on the bird.-

“Come again?”

Veto: “What kind of place did you run from? I have heard a bit about your past, and I can tell you haven’t ever dealt with women before, that’s for sure.”

“I still don’t follow.”

Veto: “That’s exactly my point mate. She set this dinner up with what looks like the best possible thing you can get in this small village. I don’t know what makes you so special to catch a princess’s eye, but she wants you.”

“We have an arrangement, and that’s all.”

Veto: “You got a lot to learn about women mate. A woman that can cook like that, putting all that effort into it, and a princess to boot, if you don’t step up your game she is going to drop you like a rock.”

“She didn’t cook the meal.”

Veto: “If you believed that….Mate the adventurer’s guild was closed half the day while she made that for you.”

“Why go through all that trouble then only to lie about it?’

Veto: “That’s what I am telling you mate, women say one thing, but want or do something completely different. Also you better not wait to much longer to go apologize, or you might really catch it later.”

“Well thanks for the advice, I better head out now.”

I decide to head to head back to the dungeon. When I arrive back at the dungeon, Belinda has seemed to lure Thirty-seven into her room again. Thirty-seven just sits there silently staring off at the wall behind Belinda while holding the cat doll upside-down in her arms, as Belinda is rapidly talking away.

I decide the best course of action is to wait till Belinda cools down, so I decide to head to bed.

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