Rale was examining the room with interest as Delta stared at the menu before her.

Delta was smiling as the very thing she had planned had appeared. It was expensive, however. Delta would have to make sure she got the important things done first. The rising water was a gimmick to scare or to challenge people.

She still needed proper trees, more locations for monsters and people to travel to. The room was far too empty really and Delta couldn’t wait to fill it up.

It was all one big room and it was a little different than was she had planned but that was alright. She focused on the room behind the waterfall and frowned. While the rising water had appeared, options to do with the two-bed frames and feather-stuffed pillows and mattress had not.

“Nu, any idea why the system ignored them?” she asked and Nu’s box, busy with making sure the water wouldn’t flood somewhere it shouldn’t, floated closer.

Delta rubbed her throat at the words. Nu was so mattered in fact but Delta still tried for a weak smile.

“Thanks, I would rather not see those kinds of options,” she agreed. Nu dinged once.

Delta just pinched the screen side and Nu yanked out of her touch, making small grumbling text appear as he moved away.

Nu’s words made Delta perk up.

“Make it homely... yeah, I think I can do that. I had an idea as well, not sure if it’s possible but do you know for anyone who beats Fran to just skip the first level? Like if they could teleport directly to the second floor and skip the walk? The inn room might make a good spot for it,” Delta explained, using hand gestures that didn’t really mean anything.

They way he talked about the menus made Delta think the system was something that Nu... felt protective over.

“Do we help it mature by getting new levels?” she said, not pushing to know more about the relationship between Nu and the system. She knew the menu was having trouble with his existence as it was.

Delta nodded and looked upwards.

“How are they getting on?” she asked and Nu took a moment to answer.

Delta felt curiosity but she didn’t go to look. She had made a promise to work on the floor to Nu. She could control herself until they met Fran.

It was only one hallway between them. Five more minutes won’t hurt.


“-then I said ‘that’s no sword, that’s my teeth cleaner! This is my sword!’” Cram said and the goblins cracked up. Billy just shaking his head, amused as Numb guffawed into the meaty broth Smalls cooked over the fire.

The smaller man rolled his eyes as Cois cackled some sparks out his nose.

Hob and Gob nudged, grinning each other.

“Gob ran into spider, and spider tried to web us!” Hob began and Gob began to laugh as he remembered.

“I say to Hob ‘this is a sticky mess’!” he howled and Cram snorted and had to take a moment not to choke on his broth. Mr Mushy applauded the joke and Smalls shook his head.

“Horrible, who taught you how to make such bad jokes?” he mock-chided as he offered more of the bubbling liquid to the goblins. They all shared a look and then looked down at the ground.

“Mother!” they all cheered. Mr Mushy looked pleased as Smalls used his pot to cook the broth.

Down the hall, the Greater Mushy rippled as he tried to ignore the happy people. He looked down at the ground where a series of rocks and pots stood close to the wall.

Gifts of his brother, Mr.

The tentacle mushroom softly began to tap the pot side, then one of the rocks, then to another large pot.

Low thud, high tap, low knock, high tap. The rhythm begin to form and the series of noises pleased the demonic looking plant.

Greater tried to remember how Mother hummed.

High tap, high tap, low knock, long tap.

Not quite but it was closer.


Delta had added a table, a few chairs and a campfire. It left her with 15 mana to toy with. The people upstairs were giving her small but steady mana. It was going well. She closed her eyes as contentment and laughter flowed to her.

She tilted her head as if to listen harder.

Her monsters, her goblins, were having a good time. Delta smiled without opening her eyes. She soaked in the feeling of joy and merriment. She added a stone sconce to a nearby wall and spun, sending her skirt spinning as she laughed.

Opening her eyes, she found the room to be a slightly better sight.

“Can we smooth the walls and ceiling slightly?” she asked and a box appeared.

It wasn’t Nu but what had to be the system.

“Please,” she nodded and the room glowed as the rough stone walls and roof smoothed into a more artificial space. She would have to edit the campfire to respawn wood like the pond room but as far as Delta could see, the space was looking better by the second!

She imagined tired explorers putting their feet up. Pictured the relieved looks people would have if they saw the beds, the warmth of the campfire.

“Yes!” Delta cheered and the box closed and a new one appeared.

“Nu, don’t worry about it, not yet. I mean no one had ever seen the second floor, who knows how long it will take them to even see this place... I hope they like it. I really do,” Delta clasped her hands behind her back and smiled at the small space.

Delta spun, a large smile forming on her face but Nu interrupted her.

Delta blinked as Nu vanished. She turned to Rale who was relaxing near the waterfall.

“Rale! I’ll be back soon, I’ll make you some friends soon! Oh, I got to hurry!” Delta said quickly, making her frogman blink slowly at her departing voice.

“I shall await your return, Mother Delta,” he said seriously into the empty air. He dived and tried to lift a rock near the bottom. He tried to imagine it was some foolish human and heaved.

Fat humans wore metal and didn’t do well in water. Rale would have to build his already impressive arms to a new level of power to have a chance at doing as Mother requested. He would lift all the rocks, he would carry the humans to safety, he would make them praise Delta for her kindness.

That was his duty.


Fran often felt like he was a little mad. He and Bacon sometimes had full conversations where Bacon said nothing but spoke all the same. Mostly, he was sure it was due to the lack of... use he was doing. The spider invasion never reached him... the children had been amusing but not a threat at their current teamwork level and well... Mr Mushy was too nice for Fran to bait into a fight.

But he stood, every inch of him trembling with excitement as people came. Two new ones. New people, new powers, new threats.

Delta was nearby, watching.

...Good luck, I’ll cheer for you!” she called and Fran felt his heart swell at the words. She wasn’t making him back down or submit if they challenged Fran...

He could accept.

A fight. He could finally fight.

“Woah, nice room,” a loud voice called as it walked in. Bacon inhaled and Fran mirrored it. The new scents were exotic and familiar. One of wood and old blood, the second of scented things and cooking.

“Yes, it’s basic but I think it has a very nice aesthetic to it. I like the arena theme,” the calmer voice called and Fran preened just a little at the praise of his room. Bacon snorted and Fran shushed him.

It wouldn’t do to ruin their first grand entrance.

“So, you see those rules? More rules and a chance to back out, nice of this place,” the loud one called.

“The dungeon has manners, they are a thing, my dear Cram,” the smooth voice chided.

He urged Bacon forward. He spoke as he and his steed left the darkness of the hole in the wall.

“Challengers. Welcome... to the boss room,” he almost purred with excitement. The two men eyed him, not as startled as Fran would have liked but they nodded in greeting and respect.

“I am Sir Fran, are you here to challenge me?” he asked, voice like steel. He practised in front of Bacon. Every posture and phrasing to appear as bossly as possible.

The larger man, not quite human, spoke.

“I guess we are. The name is Cram,” he nodded again as the smaller man bowed in an elegant manner.

“I am Ruberoi Smalls. A pleasure to meet such a well-manned boss. Most are usually gibbering gnolls or war chiefs. A knight is... interesting,” he praised and Fran wanted to squee slightly as they praised him.

Delta was watching, the goblins rushed into the room and sat high on the stair-like wall the edged the room to watch the fight. This was everything.

His challengers were worthy, his time had come.

Sir Fran swept his iron lance around like a flag.

“Then you will hear my rules. This will be a fight but I will not aim to kill on purpose. If I am to win, you may leave but if you take such a mercy and use it against me, your life is forfeit. I know that death is nothing to me but I hope you may show me the same respect,” Fran said, voice almost shaking. He was too excited and even Bacon was trying to appear even more majestic in the light.

Cram and Smalls looked at each other. Smalls bowed again.

“I wish to sit out. I am not a fighter. May I watch with the goblins?” he asked and Fran hesitated, a little let down to have already lost one of his foes. He nodded and Smalls gave Cram a friendly pat on his back. He jogged up and sat neatly down next to Billy who nodded.

Fran focused on Cram, seeing the man’s huge muscles and a wide grin.

“Well, I could never say no to a friendly tussle. Any more rules or can we get started?” he flexed a few times and the axe at the man’s side flashed. Fran grinned back.

“No rules, just a request. When you leave... tell the world of Sir Fran. Tell the world. Sir Fran is ready!” he shouted and Bacon stamped the ground a few times and charged. Cram laughed and put his own head down to meet the boar in mid-charge.

Delta could only watch with a hand over her eyes, peeking between the fingers.



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Dave @Dave ago

Thanks for the chapter.

Forgot to mention last chapter, damn mushrooms are gett Everywhere. Delta is not going to be happy!!

Moridain @Moridain ago

Hmm, thinking of ways to improve Sir Frans room.

How about a Challenge, 'Win without Killing', granting the extra reward. That way even the biggest idiots in the world will know to try.

Counterintuitively, how about a 'Life Guard' function. No one in the room can die, instead stopping an inch from death. This works on both Sir Fran and any enemies he faces. This effect works on any single person just once per day and counts as a loss.

Lastly, how about a Tournament Event. When he wants a tournament can be triggered, involving monsters from around the dungeon who are interested. Sir Fran is the host and final boss of the tourney. The further you manage to get the bigger your reward. This has an extra benefit of allowing monsters who really want to fight a way to get their aggression out. Especially if the Life Guard exists. A certain goblin can finally set people on fire maniacally without making Delta sad. Very Happy

    verycoolname @verycoolname ago

    I like the ideas but we have seen that challenges and other options have to be encouraged before they become available. It looks like non lethal ones are a lot harder to make available than lethal ones.

    Mearhena @Mearhena ago

    While the challenges are nice to set the pacifist pace, I don't want to see them everywhere. To reinforce it, people need to choose. "Pacifist => reward, lethal => nothing" is no real choice. One way is clearly superior to the other. How people decide when there's no signpost and imminent reward is significant.

      Moridain @Moridain ago

      The challenge is a bonus reward though. Kill Sir Fran and you get the standard rewards. Don't kill him though and instead you get the Challenge Rewards, which are set higher.

      While I agree that it would be better if people just chose not to kill, this is a dungeon. At the moment it is being challenged by super friendly folk, but eventually normal adventurers (see asshole murderhobos) will turn up and they will need more incentive to follow the rules.

      After all it is a LOT easier to kill than to beat unconscious. Several times easier.

      Dragrath @Dragrath ago

      Yep incentives as well as their counterparts punishments are no doubt a must after all it is through them that society can set rules which people will follow in the first place so rewards for those who follow her rules as well as punishments through increased difficulty or lower grade loot would likley be essential if she wants to prevent others from walking all over her like they do for other dungeons.

      verycoolname @verycoolname ago

      Carrot and stick. So far the only effective 'stick' the dungeon has is Waddles' bad luck spell, actually attacking and killing adventurers is just playing their game and makes Delta a hypocrite. There needs to be an unsubtle, immediate punishment for not playing by the rules.

      The best I can think of is some sort of auto teleport into a pile of manure near the entrance to the dungeon, but if dungeons could do that sort of thing so easily they wouldn't be beatable.

      Moridain @Moridain ago

      Hmm... How about a curse? Anyone who murders one of the creatures in the dungeon gets a 'naughty' curse. It doesn't do anything directly, however anyone who has the mark is disproportionately targetted by all bad stuff, including Waddles if he sees them.

      The mark lasts a set duration before going away, say an hour? But if you get another couple of marks it becomes permenant.

      Anyone with a permenant mark is kill on sight. After all, such a person has shown they are more than happy to kill, so fair is fair.

      verycoolname @verycoolname ago

      That's great, but I have one problem with it. It's the same problem as Teletraps: a normal dungeon could easily abuse it to kill invaders, so acquiring it and using it must be nigh impossible or have absurd requirements.

      Delta doesn't have a different set of abilities than normal dungeons, she is just using them differently. Unfortunately that means that any ability that could be used to make instant death traps or up the difficulty past any reasonable level isn't going to be available to a two floor dungeon. simple, Straightforward abilities like curses would be utterly OP if all it took was killing a dungeon creature to get hit with one. Similarly, Teletraps would only be 'fair' in super deep sections of a powerful dungeon.

      Moridain @Moridain ago

      Applying a curse for killing isn't anything that powerful. The weakness of the thing would make it pretty cheap, and the fact she can't just put it on people directly would make the cost negligible. The most expensive part would be to make it resistant to Remove Curse type spells.

      The 'kill on sight' portion would just be instructions to her people that if people have that mark they are bad and her normal rules don't apply.

      Normal dungeons have Kill on Sight as a matter of course after all. Only she with her pacifist dungeon orders them not to in the first place.

      verycoolname @verycoolname ago

      Fair enough, But i'm wondering why other dungeons wouldn't use it. Aside from the 'kill on sight' being useless, even a tiny effect would be useful to the dungeon. I feel like it would be more plausible as a mark that locks nearby doors than one that weakens the cursed. At least that would make more sense considering other dungeons want people to die progressing, so an effect that halts progression without endangering people wouldn't be utilized by those dungeons.

      Dragrath @Dragrath ago

      It probably works like rules with a sustained cost maing it fairly inefficent

      Moridain @Moridain ago

      I suspect they do use variations of this, but more lethally focused. For example, fail to kill X within five minutes and you get cursed or kill X golden beetles in this room of black beetles in 10 minutes or get cursed. There is a mana expendature every time the curse triggers, but it would be worth it.

      As to the 'sustained cost', I think it would work like the challenges. A flat fee to create then an additional fee in mana to recharge it. However since it is only 'expended' upon a death the ongoing cost would be minimal so long as people aren't hunting creatures.

verycoolname @verycoolname ago

I love this story so much. I can't stand how adorable all of these characters are.

Drummer Greater Mushy!

BigBuckler @BigBuckler ago

I just binge read through this whole story yesterday. I really like it. Dungeon stories are always fun to me, so it's nice to see another well done one. Thanks for the update!

Predator @Predator ago

Cool chapter, but I caught a couple of mistakes.

  • "Bore fruit" means "Made fruit bored" I think you meant to say "borne fruit" since borne is the past participle of bear.
  • "Make it homely" means "Make it ugly/unattractive" (Homely means ugly, comely means pretty) I think you meant to say "Make it homey" or maybe "Make it cozy".

    halycon404 @halycon404 ago

    Bore is correct. In this case Bore is a tense of the verb Bear. Bore is just more archaic than Borne.

    Homely is also correct. Here the problem is the difference between different versions of english. In the US it's Homey. In the UK it's Homely.

Vorchin @Vorchin ago

Thanks for another chapter!

That Guy @That Guy ago

Oh good, I was starting to get worried after suddenly a week with no uploads. Thanks for the chapter!

Griff @Griff ago

Holy shit! Greayer Mushy the Drummer! I canca believe how often I'm surprised by this story :)

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