Chapter 71: One More Trip to The Tower of the Gods

It takes a few days after that for things to return to normal although the rumors from the villagers have not died down. Some are even getting worse saying I must of gotten my mistress pregnant for her to be living with us now…

We started having her help me at the mayor’s office but she said that was extremely boring work. Now Scylla works with me full time along with Bell while Sofia goes with Belinda helping at the adventurer’s guild.

She seems quite flirtatious with the adventurers, but if any of them try to get close to her she instantly shuts them down. The revenue from the alcohol and such sold at the adventurer’s guild has picked up considerably however.

Denova’s general store has become quite popular and has already taken over most of the general goods sales in Tobes. Her new slaves seem to be working quite well for her. Although one of the men she purchased doesn’t seem like he fits in with the rest, he however seems pretty popular.

Belinda has said that it is because he resembles me quite a bit, but I am not sure if she is joking or not… The adventurers are even taking a big interest in Denova’s shop as she now has a decent supply of adventurer gear as well.

It is a week after things have begun to settle down and as we sit around the table for breakfast Belinda makes an announcement.

 

Belinda: “It is already well into the summer and we haven’t even gone out to begin training yet. With the addition of Sofia we should really be able to push into Madam Erin’s dungeon.”

Sofia: “Is that a wise idea to attack an elder’s dungeon?”

“Oh, it’s alright. Madam Erin was the one that trained me, and she has given me permission to train my monsters in her dungeon.”

Sofia: “I see… If she trains your strongest monsters she will be able to learn their weaknesses, and always know just how much of an edge she has against you. That sounds like a very elder thing to do.”

Belinda: “Madam Erin isn’t like that!”

“Actually it makes a lot of sense… Remember she did send in a group that nearly wiped us out just to gain information.”

Belinda: “She came to our housewarming party, just because she cared about you!”

“I think that was curiosity to see what I did with the imitation core… She as much as said that to me.”

Belinda: “Should we train somewhere else then?”

“Well we don’t really have much of a choice right now, but we might want to start looking into spreading out our training from here on out.”

Belinda: “Is the gear she was wearing when she got here good enough for Madam Erin’s dungeon? We also need to probably get some better gear for Roxy as well.”

“Oh most certainly I would say it was probably as effective as your gear even with the fact it was a lower class of armor. I wish I could make more like it so I could give all you girls equipment like that.”

Zoey: “Boss I don’t want to wear a dress…”

Lilah: “Lilah will take hers!”

“I just meant the material… But if its possible I am going to try to get Roxy one just like Sofia’s before you leave though.”

Roxy: “But if it is equal to Belinda’s full-plate then the cost of such an armor…”

“You’re family Roxy, you are also one of my boss monsters. I can’t have my boss monsters entering other dungeons without showing them off a bit.”

Sofia: “But is that really even possible? It takes a top smith to make equipment from Dark Steel. Even if you could find one that does, to be able to make is close to Dyson’s designs…”

“That’s why I would just use the dungeon to summon it.”

Sofia looks quite startled. “But how!?”

Scylla: “We told you Master is quite different than other cores. The moment he added your equipment to the dungeon inventory it unlocked the ability to summon it.”

Sofia: “But that kind of thing…”

“I didn’t know that was unusual. Is it not normally done like that?”

Scylla: “Of course not Master… Like monsters most dungeons are born with the ability to summon all the basic types of items, and they have to just keep summoning them over and over until they unlock higher tier equipment.”

Zoey: “And armor like that Queen and Sofia have are special designs that Dyson must have come up with himself, to be able to just copy it like that is kind of amazing.”

“I had no idea… Does that mean it’s the same for the skills and spells I have learned from the adventurer’s that have died in the dungeon?”

Scylla: “Well most of them are basic, so you should of known them the moment you started your dungeon, but I have noticed one or two that Sofia brought with her when she joined that makes me think that is the case for them as well.”

Sofia: “Wait you don’t mean to tell me you learned Dyson’s special skill did you?”

“No, I didn’t. I figure that is because it requires the monster to be summoned by Dyson himself. I did manage to learn to summon Human battle maidens though.”

Sofia: “That is impossible only Elder Dyson can summon humans!”

“Not anymore. Although I was quite disappointed it was limited to class…”

Sofia: “Something like that and you’re disappointed…?”

Scylla: “Like we said…” “Special.”

The girls spend the next few days preparing to go to Madam Erin’s dungeon, and before they leave I manage to summon some better gear for Roxy.

We still can’t talk her into using a larger shield so I make a top quality small steel shield. Without her even getting to use it much we also replace the steel mace she had made last fall with a master quality one.

Although it leaves us in quite a bind with xp I do manage to summon another dark steel battle dress for her. I spent quite a number of hours and even used my dungeon jewelcrafting skill to give it a unique appearance. This seems to floor Sofia yet again, and even upsets Belinda a bit.

Enough that when they are preparing to leave she makes the comment. “I am just saying, you never made me armor as beautiful as that. It is almost so pretty it seems a shame to use it in combat…”

“Well your armor is the best it can get for being made of steel… I could summon one and change the appearance, but it would only be as effective as the one you have…”

Belinda: “Well then promise me when you can make a full-plate out of a better material I am the first one you make armor for!”

“Alright…”

Lilah: “But Master gave Lilah’s armor to Bell.”

“You don’t need armor though, because you take care of the dungeon.”

Lilah: “Master promised to teach Lilah to fight…”

“That was before. Your job now is far more important.”

Lilah: “But Lilah wants a pretty armor…”

“I thought you didn’t like the pretty dresses?”

Lilah: “It’s not a frilly dress it’s pretty armor!”

“…”

Belinda: “We will bring back lots of xp, and then Two-Twelve can make you armor alright?”

Zoey: “Hey what about me? My armor still isn’t that great.”

“I thought you said no dress.”

Zoey: “That doesn’t mean you can’t make me a better leather armor.”

“Yours is already black leather… I could increase the quality, but I don’t know how much more effective that would make it. It would be best to wait till we have better material to work with.”

Zoey: “Then I get the first mythril armor!”

“We are a long way off from ever being able to make mythril…”

Zoey: “You could just steal Queen’s next time she visits…”

“I can’t do that… Besides that is still a dress.”

Zoey: “…”

With a kiss from Belinda and a farewell from the rest of the girls they set out heading to Madam Erin’s dungeon. After that Lilah and I head to work.

Belinda’s PoV

This is kind of nice, just us girls. Roxy has been with us quite a while, but this is the first time we will get to fight together. Also with the addition of Sofia we should be able to do a lot of bonding over the next few weeks.

We get to learn quite a bit about each other on the way and although Sofia was only 2 days old when she came to us we are able to learn more about her personality at least.

So many of the stories from Roxy’s past are heartbreaking, and I guess Zoey really was her knight in shining armor that whisked her away. Roxy and Zoey seem so in tuned with each other it almost makes me jealous, because of how many differences I have with Two-Twelve.

Scylla tells us stories that she heard from Kline about his adventurers with Logan. Even though they are taking it quite slow you can tell how much she cares for him every time she talks about him. She is also constantly writing back and forth to him, even while we are on the road.

I feel sorry for Bell as she has been working non-stop in the mayor’s office and doesn’t get the chance to socialize much. Although with how shy she is, she finds it difficult to talk to others even when she does get the chance.

Sofia seems to be quite the flirt, but when it is just us girls she seems rather reserved. Bell and her have seemed to form quite a bond over the last week. Even though they just sit together and don’t do any talking.

I would never admit it to his face, but I find myself quite lonely without Two-Twelve around. We have made these trips several times, but this is the first time we have been apart since he told me that he loved me…

I just hope he manages to keep it together this time. He has so far managed to have some kind of bad news every time I return from a trip. Now I am actually starting to get nervous at just what could go wrong this time.

With Sofia’s level I was able to bypass D-rank when I made her adventurer’s ID, so this time all of us except Bell are coming in as C-rank adventurers, but Bell has managed to almost acquire enough commissions to raise her rank.

After arriving at the town at the base of Madam Erin’s dungeon we take a short rest to prepare for the new commissions at midnight. The crowds are huge again when we collect commissions, and I am no longer reserved about which to take.

The first two days in the dungeon actually seem to be rather dull as our group easily makes short work of the golems now. On the second day when we are turning in our commissions the receptionist calls me to the side.

Receptionist: “We have received quite a few complaints about your group from the other groups.”

“I’m sorry?”

Receptionist: “They said your power level is just too high for the lower levels of the dungeon. They even heard one of your group is level 20.”

“Well that is true, but one of our group still a D-ranked adventurer, and another only reached level 6 just today…”

Receptionist: “I find it hard to believe any of them girls are level 6… But maybe you should head to the capital and have her take a test to rank up so you can go to the higher floors.”

“How far is the capital from here?”

Receptionist: “It is only two days north.”

“We would lose four days in the dungeon if we did that…”

Receptionist: “If you don’t do that we have been requested to ban you from reentry…”

“It looks like we don’t have much of a choice then.”

The receptionist nods and then I go join the girls who have gathered at a table across the room. I tell them the news and Bell apologizes over and over even though I tell her it’s not her fault. I send a message to Two-Twelve to let him know as well.

We decide to rest the rest of the afternoon then the next morning we head towards the capital. I always remember hearing about the Tower of the Gods and other dungeons while growing up, but I now realize I might have focused too much on the dungeons and not the geography around the dungeons.

Calhoun Kingdom runs the entire northern border of Gowen, yet I never even knew where their capital was. I do know there is at least one more dungeon in Calhoun however…

As we head north leaving the forest behind the rolling hills of Calhoun are actually quite picturesque and quite different then the plains of Gowen. There are quite a few small farming communities along the road, and it even begins to run parallel with a river after we make it a few hours down the road.

The road from the capital to the Tower of the Gods is very well maintained and you can tell there must be massive amounts of traffic on it. When it begins to get dark we don’t even have to make camp, because when we do one of the farmers near by tells us of an inn just a few minutes further along the road.

The inn is nothing fancy, but it is quite big. It has one large room with barracks style sleeping arrangements, but it also has a few separated rooms. We take a few of the small rooms, but still have to bunk up together. Leaving Scylla and I to share one room, Zoey and Roxy in another, and Bell and Sofia in the last.

Not having to camp outside makes us feel refreshed the next morning and we make good progress the next day as well. It is late in evening by the time we reach the capital, so we decide to wait till morning before heading to the adventurer’s guild.

The next morning when we get to the adventurers guild we go through the process of ranking Bell up. Normally you don’t have to do anything to go from D-rank to C-rank but complete enough commissions, but since Bell is still short almost 50 commissions from ranking up she has to take a test instead.

Taking the test instead of completing the commissions is quite expensive, but it will save us a lot of time. After paying at the guild they take Bell to a training room, and the rest of us are left to wait. While waiting on Bell to complete her test I decide to look at their commission board.

Most of the commissions fall into the category of deliveries, but there are a few commissions to find a few thieves and other criminals. I even see that Logan’s flyer for the communication parchment has made it here as well.

It only takes about 30 minutes before Bell returns and she looks a little worn out.

“Well how did it go?”

Bell: “I managed to pass, but it was rather difficult…”

Bell goes up to the counter and after receiving the report she is returned her ID that has been ranked up.

“Well we got that taken care of, we are all still too low to rank up to B except maybe Sofia, but if the test was that hard for C-rank I don’t know what B-rank would be like…”

Scylla: “Should we look around the capital a bit or head straight back?”

“I would like to take a look around a bit, I haven’t been to another kingdom’s capital since I was a little girl.”

Zoey: “What about boss? He is counting on us.”

Sofia: “Gathering intelligence for him is another one of our duties. The more the Mayor learns about the areas around his dungeon the better he can defend it.”

Zoey: “But I think Belinda just wants to go shopping…”

Roxy leans over and whispers into Zoey’s ear.

Zoey: “On second thought what can it hurt?”

Scylla sighs, and after that we set out into the capital having a look around. Zoey and Roxy find a lingerie shop that they spend a considerably long time in, but I even find something that maybe Two-Twelve will enjoy.

Zoey tries to talk Scylla in getting something, but she just blushes and shakes her head. Sofia finds something she asks if she could have so I buy it for her, so I decide to ask Bell if she wants anything.

Bell: “I don’t need anything like that…”

Sofia: “What are you talking about? With what you wear, if you take something like this.” –She says picking up a very risky set of lace underwear.- “It would be just visible enough to drive the men crazy.”

Bell: “Two-Twelve is the only man I have contact with on most days…And that would make me feel uncomfortable…”

“You get quite a few onlookers when you come to the adventurer’s guild, so many you should. Although I would go with something a bit more…Conservative. Scylla you should get something as well, even if it isn’t for Kline, just get it for yourself.”

Scylla: “I wouldn’t know the first thing about choosing something like that…”

Roxy and Zoey help Scylla pick something out it isn’t actually anything to fancy, but Scylla seems rather embarrassed about it. When Bell finally decided to get something it was thankfully a bit more reserved… Zoey and Roxy on the other hand get quite a few different sets each more daring then the next…

After leaving the shop we continue on though the capital for a few more hours till we find a nice little restaurant for lunch.

Sofia: “I have been wondering, we eat quite a few meals… I don’t mind I actually find it quite enjoyable, but is it really necessary?”

“Well I know I don’t have to anymore, but it feels like something is missing if I don’t besides it gives everyone time be together and talk.”

Scylla: “Two-Twelve used to not even touch food, but now I can’t recall the last time he went without at least breakfast.”

“I don’t think you could get him to give up coffee now either.” –I say while laughing.-

Sofia: “Dyson talks about dungeon cores needing to act more human, but I think Two-Twelve has taken it to the extreme. I think he acts more human than even Dyson…”

Scylla: “It is actually only recently he has been like that. When he first summoned Zoey and I he was quite different.”

Zoey: “I think Belinda’s influence has had a lot to do with that.”

“I really haven’t done that much…”

Scylla: “You don’t really believe that do you? You think he would have ever come down off that mountain if it wasn’t for you?”

Belinda: “He always intended to add Tobes to his dungeon though so he would have come down eventually.”

Zoey: “He would have done it without leaving his core room though. You really underestimate how much Boss has changed because of you.”

“But I never…”

Scylla: “Don’t make that face. I like Master just the way he is, and besides if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet Kline.”

Roxy: “And he was the one that commissioned the brothel so I got him to thank as much as I do Denova for giving me a new life.”

Zoey: “Without you, Boss would be boring!”

Bell: “I like the look Two-Twelve has in his eye when he sees you enter the room.”

Sofia: “If you are the reason Two-Twelve is like he is I am grateful as well. I am just glad I didn’t end up like Two-eighty-eight…”

“Was that the mouse beastkin Two-Twelve told me about when he was at Dyson’s place? He told me about what happened.”

Sofia: “Well talking about such things at a meal is bad for you, so let’s change the subject.”

We spend the rest of the afternoon just wandering around the capital deciding to wait till tomorrow before heading back to the Tower of the Gods. I am glad we got to spend the day together like this it was a chance to bond better than when we were just traveling together.

The trip back to the tower seems to go by much quicker even though it still takes two days. After a few short hours of sleep we check the adventurer’s guild but find out we no longer have to wait for midnight for the commissions.

We are lead to a second floor of the guild where there is another receptionist, commission’s board, and a few tables. Looking over the commissions it looks there are some that even have monetary rewards. They range from the 13th floor and beyond.

There is even one commission that looks old and faded with the reward marked out over and over always increasing in amount. That commission however will likely remain for many years to come as even though the reward is in excess of 10,000 gold the requirements are finding the crystal.

Madam Erin’s dungeon is more than 300 floors by what Two-Twelve told me, so I actually find that reward to find her crystal to be somewhat lacking. Although humans have barely made it past the 50th floor so they probably have no idea, after all the experts all said Simon’s dungeon was smaller than it was as well.

It appears the types of monsters that appear after the 12th floor vary quite a bit as well no longer just sticking to the different types of golems. After looking over the board the receptionist calls us over.

Receptionist: “Welcome, I heard that you guys are a pretty promising new group. I will let you know how things work for the upper levels of the dungeon. There is a flat fee of 20 gold per person, per month to access the dungeon above the 12th floor.”

She slides over a form to me and then continues.

Receptionist: “But that gives you unlimited access to any of the floors above the 12th floor, and you can take as many as commissions as you want. However if your commission has a limited number of rewards, it will only be granted to the first ones that turn it in, and there will be no representatives that deep in the dungeon so you will have to bring the commissions all the way back here to get your reward.”

I look over the form she handed me and it asks me quite a few questions about me and my party. It asks for Name, Adventurer ID number, Home location, and even next of kin if we don’t make it out of the dungeon…

The girls and I fill out the form at one of the tables, we list Two-Twelve as the next of kin for everyone and after counting out the gold we return the form along with the gold.

Receptionist: “Two-Twelve? You are listing a slave as the next of kin for all of you?”

“Yes, well he isn’t a slave anymore, but he has never chosen a name for himself.”

Receptionist: “Which one of you is Belinda?”

“That would be me…”

Receptionist: “Are you Logan’s sister? I was unaware he had a sister that was an adventurer.”

“You know my brother? I also haven’t been adventuring for long. Other than the two dungeons in Gowen, this is the only other one I have been at so far.”

Receptionist: “I see. Yes your brother has come here quite a few times with his servant. If you really are a Gowen princess why list an ex-slave as your next of kin?”

“He is the mayor of Tobes, and has also received recognition from my father, but most importantly he is my boyfriend.”

Receptionist: “Is Gowen Kingdom really in such a state that it has to make an ex-slave the mayor of one of the towns, and even letting a princess date one…”

“I don’t see how it is any of your business, but Two-Twelve is a very intelligent man. If you must know he was the one that came up with that communication parchment that is advertised on my brother’s flyer.”

Receptionist: “I see… I didn’t mean to offend, but you can see how it is rather unusual.”

“I understand, but just because he was a slave doesn’t mean he is not a good man.”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry… About commissions though… If you are planning on taking some you might want to wait till at least in the morning so the groups down stairs have a chance to clear your path.”

“Alright…”

I still feel a bit offended by the way she talked about Two-Twelve, but we go ahead and take a few of the commissions, and then decide to go back to bed till morning. After a couple more hours of sleep we are refreshed and ready to go.

It takes a while to make our way through the first 10 floors of the dungeon, and we even have to wait for a group to finish up the path up before we enter the rest area on the 13th floor. This is our first time on this floor.

The 13th floor of the dungeon is just a massive empty room lit brightly and well furnished, and if I didn’t know better I would say it was some kind of inn or something… Did Madam Erin do this or did the adventurers?

Well we have plenty of time so we might as well move up, but depending on how it goes we might rest up here tonight if we don’t complete our commissions. After having a brief look around we take the stairs heading up to the next floor.

The appearance of the 14th floor is quite different of the previous floors. The lower floors had walls and rooms that looked like the ones in our dungeon with large tan stone blocks. These now look more fitting for a tower with grey stones.

The hallway we enter appears to have no monsters but we are on guard as we continue on. The first door we come to is a well-made wooden door after we are prepared we have Roxy, and Sofia take point and enter the room.

The monsters are no longer golems like the commissions said, instead are rather brutal looking large gray hobgoblins. There are 4 in this room each wearing gear better than anything what our dungeon monsters wear.

I wish I had that spell to store items so I could take it back to Two-Twelve. My distraction allows the hobgoblins to become aware of us and begin attacking.

Roxy and Sofia both block with their shields. Where the weapons just easily bounce from Sofia’s large shield, Roxy has to put more effort to deflect it with her little one.

I use this chance to test out one of the new spells Two-Twelve taught me. Focusing my magic I send out a blade of darkness sending it across the room to the heaviest armored hobgoblin. The spell seemingly passes through his armor causing it to scream out in pain.

Scylla and Zoey as well both fire off a spell and arrow respectively at the ones attacking Roxy and Sofia. Scylla’s freeze spell doesn’t seem very effective and Zoey’s arrow only causes minimal damage. Bell makes a move focusing her magic into her fist uppercutting one of the hobgoblins in the jaw hitting him hard enough to raise his feet from the ground.

Sofia swings her sword at the one whose attack she blocked causing him to take a step back recoiling from the impact. Roxy tries to do the same but doesn’t affect her hobgoblin much.

The hobgoblin I attacked decides I am his enemy charging forward after me with a large axe, I parry with my halberd but have quite the struggle to keep the blow off of me. The hobgoblin that took the blow from Bell tries to return an attack with a two-handed sword.

Bell manages to jump to the side as the blow comes crashing down. She takes the opportunity of the slow strike to spin around this time kicking the hobgoblin square in the jaw. This time the hobgoblin can’t recover from the blow causing him to hit the floor.

The one Roxy is defending against also has a large axe and it brings it back down this time Roxy isn’t able to fully deflect the blow  causing her quite a bit of damage. The one attacking Sofia is still recoiling but and by the time he tries to bring his sword around it bounces weakly off of Sofia’s shield again.

I don’t like how much more strength this hobgoblin has then me so I want try to end this quickly, so I focus magic into my halberd using the skill [Divine Spear] that I got when Sofia joined the dungeon casting the [Dark Blade] spell again my halberd channels the spell surprising the hobgoblin as the spell exits from the blade of the spear hitting it in the chest.

The hobgoblin still doesn’t fall but the strength of his axe pushing against my halberd starts to falter. Scylla starts to cast a spell using her [Empowered Magic] skill to raise the power of her [Freeze] spell. Zoey focuses her magic quickly firing quite a few arrows into the air.

As the arrows reach the roof they seemingly disappear only to reappear above the two hobgoblins attacking Roxy and Sofia, raining down on them causing quite a bit of damage. Scylla’s spell finally finishes building and she releases it against the hobgoblin attacking Roxy.

This time the [Freeze] spell manages to cause the hobgoblin to begin to ice over. It doesn’t completely stop it but slows it down considerably. Bell doesn’t give the hobgoblin she is fighting a chance to get back off the floor kicking it in the stomach as it tries to get back to its feet.

Sofia slams her shield against her hobgoblin stunning him long enough to focus magic in her sword till it glows with a blinding light. She then swings it at the hobgoblin releasing the light causing a deafening explosion causing the hobgoblin to fly across the room crashing into a heap on the floor.

After that the battle gets considerably easier as Sofia and Roxy work on her hobgoblin, while Zoey pulls her swords to assist me, while Scylla switches over to begin healing Roxy’s wound. Bell meanwhile continues her one sided assault against her hobgoblin kicking it around the floor.

After battle we take a short break making sure everyone is healed up and recovered enough to move on. We continue on battling quite a few more groups of the tough hobgoblins clearing the 14th floor, but with only 1 of 5 commissions complete we decide to head back to the 13th floor to rest.

It is only midafternoon but we decide not to push it. The commissions we have will probably lead up a few more floors but we decide we need to train a bit more on the 14th floor before progressing higher.

We rest a few hours and then check if any of the hobgoblins were reborn from rifts, when we discover they have been we clear a few more floors before heading back down to 13th floor to sleep for the evening.

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