Delta hummed as she waited for the return of Ruli. The moss really was a nice touch, her once drab tunnels now felt really pretty. Delta had only left the mudroom and the boss room untouched. Delta felt that the mudroom was too exciting for the moss twinkling above and Fran had requested he keep his dark ceiling.
Delta wondered if the goblin would like something more interesting? Some statues? Some thorns around the edge of the room?
She would have to ask him soon but first she sent Hob and Gob back out to gather more things as they seemed eager to get back to work for her. Delta was pleased that they were happy to work so much. She eyed Waddles who slapped the Steeltail fish back into the water as it tried to playful smack Waddles.
The duck seemed happy in its alcove, using dried out tangleweeds as bedding. He didn’t seem to want anything or if he did he wasn’t being too obvious about it. The pond rippled and Delta pulled a thought out of her head about a fishing pole.
One could say she almost fished it out her mind! Delta snorted and spoke aloud to Nu.
“Can we make fishing rods or poles?” she asked and Nu took a moment to think.
Nu was right. After the moss and the fish upgrade... she had dropped from 86 mana to 26 mana. Not a huge problem since Ruli would be back soon and her presence in the dungeon would help replenish that along with what Hob and Gob would bring back. Still, she had 26 mana to use..
Delta pondered what to do since her own knowledge on fishing was rather lacking and she didn’t want to murder anyone for the simple act of getting it easy.
After all, she was a pacifish!
Delta left the pond room trying to contain her laughter as she wiped imaginary tears away. She passed Cois who was dripping with mud as he stalked into the Pond room with a grumble. Delta smiled and then her mind pointed something out.
Delta hadn’t told Cois about the Steeltail! She turned but Cois yelped and there was a lot splashing and quacking.
Delta backed away and quickly fled down the tunnel before she risked getting involved. She hid in the Core room to think up her next plan of action.
Rare fish would encourage people to come and spend some time to get it. Free mana and everyone had a good time!
So what was her dungeon missing? It had decent doors, entertainment, Mr Mushy, glowymoss, mushrooms everywhere, a boss...
God, she sounded like the first forest dungeon of a video game. Still.. sorta the tutorial but also the part where people could grind. Delta didn’t want to be the boring forest dungeon! There was always a little maze or collecting fruit to shrink or grow plants to get around...
Her mushrooms were big enough! Delta heistated and knew that most of her upgrades for the dungeon were nature based and Mrs Dabberghast had only giving her more reason to grow that way.
It was really nice of Mrs Dabberghast to help her like that and Delta hoped she would come back soon. The woman’s words were alluring. Cheery, but mysterious.
Delta focused and thought hard. More monsters were an option but without a way to respawn them, Delta would just worry over them if more spiders came or people who weren’t so nice. Delta wasn’t holding her breath on a being on some magic land of nice people.
Delta didn’t even know the level of technology this world had. Fireguns, swords, and magic... It felt off and Delta wasn’t going to risk a poor Mushy to another fire gun wielding farmer. So, looking at what was left, she looked at her mana purchases.
- Corridor (50 ft): 10 mana
- Room (10L x 15W): 20 mana
- Goblin fire pit : 5 Mana
- Simple wooden door: 4 mana
- Solid Wooden door: 7 mana
- Goblins(chosen beginner monster): 10 mana come equipped with stone bags.
- Goblin Thug: 17 mana
- Goblin Archer: 17 Mana
- Goblin Apprentice: 17 mana
- Mushroom Spitters: 13 mana
- Myconid: 27 Mana
- Greater Mushroom: 27 mana
- Common Silverspinner Spider: 7 DP A simple black spider with a white line. Created 5 spiders per summon. These little creature's can add atmosphere and some free decoration to your dungeon. As basic creature's, they cannot evolve unless some unique element or being is absorbed by the dungeon.
- Whitetail Fish: 2 mana
- Steeltail fish: 10 mana, made with cheap steel scales and tastes good. One per pond
- Crayfish: 4 mana
- Yellow Belly Cod: 4 mana
- Low-grade pitfall: 5 mana
- Weak Tripwire: 3 Mana
- Sticky Floor Panel: 5 Mana
Delta whistled at the list, how much this once tiny list had grown, and at how scary that this list was still a tiny microorganism compared to some dungeons out there. Well, one step at a time. Epic dungeons didn’t form in a day.
Especially when they had sworn off DP filled humans for light snacks. Delta guessed eating the occasional animal-like monster wouldn’t be too bad. There was no reasoning with them, what else could she do?
Enslave them? Banish them? Force them to grow a conscience? Delta didn’t know and until she had some answer, she wasn’t going to stress over it. If they ran, Delta would let them go within reason. If they fought to the death then... Delta would deal.
It was bad enough her own spiders terrified her... having huge versions come hissing into the dungeon was making Delta all too happy to to have Mr Mushy escort them back out. Delta shivered at the memory of the drooling fangs and quickly banished the thought.
Back to the manner in the menu, she had a lot of options but struggled to justify them.
She could make loot for her monsters to drop but that was like asking people not to shoot you and then painting a giant target on your back. If people thought her monsters gave amazing things, they would kill them. It was the simple fact of going to a dungeon or being an adventurer.
Holding a finger to Cois, she saw a menu appear.
Delta only wanted to see if she could equip her non-contracted monsters with weapons... she wasn’t expecting to have her world forcefully expanded.
“Nu? I... explain... this!” Delta said in a high voice and the screen appeared.
Delta felt her hands twitched a she felt the need to strangle the smug screen.
“Yes, I know what flipping evolution is, I evolved three goblins and two Mushys!” Delta huffed as she felt her cheeks glow with embarrassment.
Delta was speechless. Nu was just dropping this all like Delta should have just know about this secret arcane knowledge on how summoned monsters can do way more than just hit things! Delta took a deep breath and when she finally spoke, her voice was calm.
It was very calm.
“And Uniqure monsters?” she asked, voice sounding pinched. This was all too much at once.
Nu took a moment to look it over and then ding in surprise.
Nu went quiet and Delta frowned.
“Show me as well, I might be able to help or something!” Delta offered and Nu made a soft noise.
Delta narrowed her eyes, crossing her arms as her voice took on a sharp tone.
“Nu, don’t call me stupid,” she warned and the menu hesitated.
Then Delta’s mind exploded. It felt like fire erupted behind her eyes as she spun, normal walls of dirt flashing with countless tiny nodes that were all linked together. Glowing lines of blue, red, brown, black, green, and something she had never seen before rushed past. She toppled over as her eyes met a single Gutrot Mushroom.
How could it be just a mushroom? Each cell, lacking any other word for it, was a work of pure numbers and illogical reasoning. It was beautiful and it was horrifying. Parts were as simple as 1+1 made a number that stretched on forever but it also didn’t.
Its cap was a working lattice of mana and creation. Her mana, her creation. It pulsed and every second of every day of every aeon, this mushroom would be forever perfect and it was hurting her so bad. Delta wanted to scream but that was a thought. That thought was a perfectly calculated memory of a normal reaction of being Delta and it hurt!
Then it stopped. It was just a mushroom again. It was just the pest that she was used to seeing it as. Delta curled up for a moment as Nu appeared.
Delta rocked back and forth slightly.
“N-Nu... I...” she hesitated and the menu turned a very soft shade of blue.
Delta thought about it, a phantom pain of seeing the sheer work behind having the ability to think, and then stood.
“Thank you, for turning it off,” she smiled weakly and the menu screen returned to its normal royal blue.
Delta giggled at the slightly pompous words and the menu dinged away.
“What good name? I named you!” Delta argued and no screen appeared but Delta heard a distance dinging noise that Nu made when he laughed.
“Let me know when you figure out what’s up with Cois...” Delta said quietly. Looking at Cois’ menu as the goblin looked nervous at the air.
“Master? Are you hurt?” he asked and Delta cleared her throat.
“My own fault, please don’t worry!” she said, voice relaxed now that the pain was fading. She closed the menus, a little wary at the sight of them now, and decided to have fun with her mana. Taking it so seriously... would only drive her back to those numbers and those... not-numbers.
Delta also didn’t want to look at that one command.
It translated to Delta as ‘turn your monsters into slaves’. If they were too stupid or you had no patience... then just hijack their mind and get on with it. It was sickening. It was horrible and Delta tried to look at Cois and imagine doing that to him. Watching those relieved eyes at Delta’s apparent good health and how she would feel if they just went blank... the cocky walk and the smile of real joy as sparks flew out the staff.
Gone like a candle snuffed in the wind and Delta shook. It was wrong. It was so wrong.
She jumped as Nu appeared.
Delta nodded and then felt silly as Nu didn’t react.
“Please...” she agreed and before her eyes the menu appeared and it was gone. No more Command option. Like a bad dream, Nu had just made it go away.
Delta felt her heart stop hurting and she felt like she could smile again.
“Hey, Nu... before you go, how many tunnels can I have? I know rooms are maxed...” Delta trailed off and Nu flashed once.
9 more tunnels... and she had 26 mana which would come to about...
Delta felt ideas pop into her head but Nu vanished and the guest emotion rolled over her head. Delta turned to see Ruli return with a large rod over her shoulder and a metal case at her side.
Delta was speechless as the woman had on some sort of abominable duck cap, a jacket with a dozen of so lures attached to the front, her big thick green boots that looked like they were made to stomp through a war zone, not fish peacefully at a cave pond. Her rod glowed and the hook glowed with a menacing light. Delta felt afraid as Ruli began to laugh.
“Ruli the hunter comes for the hunt of the night!” she announced and at her side, a familiar face appeared.
“IT IS I, DEO! I AM HERE ON PUNISHMENT UNDER THE SERVICE OF RULI!” the young boy beamed and Ruli itched her nose.
“Supposed to make you cut logs or admire nature or some crock but I need a someone to keep the fire going and fetch the drinks from the cooler,” Ruli said without shame. Delta smiled hesitantly as Deo pulled out a sack.
“I BROUGHT TRIBUTE FOR THE AWESOME TIME I HAD!” he yelled and Ruli winced as she plugged her ears.
She spun the lad and made him look at her face.
“Indoor voice, kid,” she warned and Deo paused.
“Alright!” he said very loudly and Ruli grimaced as the result.
“Quieter?” she sounded hopeful and Delta was sure she was pushing it.
“I am now whispering! I bet you can’t even hear me!” he called enthusiastically. Ruli sighed and walked inside towards the pond.
“RULI! HAVE YOU SEEN THE CEILING, IT’S GLOWING!” Deo sounded delighted and Ruli hid a smile as Deo tried to jump and touch the moss. Delta giggled as her monsters came running in response to Deo’s voice.
“Thank you for the tribute and happy fishing!” she called and both of them paused as they seemed to feel a warm wind or something.
“Glad you missed me,” Ruli mused and Deo slapped his hand on the wall and then slapped it down on a lower part.
“DEO HANDSHAKE! WE CAN DO IT FROM NOW ON!” he promised and Delta laughed so hard that she cried a little.
It was like she had friends outside the dungeon. Real friends who... treated her like a human. Delta walked next to them, pretending they were all going fishing together.
Numb the goblin thug was waiting for them and Deo rushed forward to shake his hand, confusing the goblin.
“Numb... why are you here?” she asked and Numb puffed his chest up.
“Me your mouth. Me SMASH WORDS WITH EASE!” he howled and Deo blinked as the goblin raise his club like some torch.
Delta looked around and saw Cois was hiding in the camp, away from Deo. Billy was napping in the Grove, snoring away atop a big mushroom-like some sort of colourblind smurf
It left her with Numb...
Well, he may be a bit slow but at least he wasn’t a numbskull!
Delta snorted and Numb guffawed despite not knowing why Delta was laughing. Then Deo laughed because he was just that happy, which made Ruli look at them both with a long face.
“God, it’s Goblin-Deo... a match to go with Goblin-Quiss...” she mumbled and her eyes lit up as the pond room came into view.
She made some high-pitched noise and pointed her fishing rod at the pond.
“Tonight... I hunt you, metal-fish! Servant! Pass man a Elemental Soda!” she called and Deo rushed to the metal case with a salute. Numb looking confused, saluted too and followed Deo like a puppy.
Delta sat down, head in hand as she just enjoyed the sight.