Delta hummed. She paused and then corrected the tune.
There we go. Now she had it right, hopefully, one day soon Delta could find a way to record music in her head. What would she need for that? Magic song stones? A fully functional jukebox?
Delta giggled as she imagined adventurers inserting coins in a jukebox before a boss room to get the right mood. She would ask Nu about that. With the mana slowly filling up due to Deo and Ruli, she was having all sorts of ideas.
First, she would make Ruli’s diary in a restored state. From what she remembered of the menu...
It was oddly expensive for a book but Delta would gladly pay it for Ruli’s company. She could have made it before Ruli came back... But Nu’s world had rattled her a little. All those numbers, all those connections...
Delta shook her head as Deo cheered when Ruli pulled out another Yellow Belly. She growled as the Steelfish avoided her hook again. Ruli threw the fish back into the water as she chased her quarry.
Deo sang loudly as he turned the two fish on sticks above the campfire. The two fish cooked lovely and Deo licked his lips.
“Spin and spin, cook and cook. Lovely fish, cook for me! I am Deo and you are dinner, let us have a good time!” Deo’s singing voice was... Delta had no words as the little song flowed from Deo’s mouth. It was soothing and inviting while not being ear-breaking.
How was that? Delta wondered if someone had switched his normal and singing voice at birth.
Ruli flicked the rod back and Waddles slipped into the water and dived.
“Shit, can’t hit the Drake...” Ruli sighed but then aimed for the other end of the pond where a flash of silver briefly shimmered. The hook with the lure dipped and then with a flash of feathers, the hook vanished.
“Shit!” Ruli cursed as the rod’s line quickly began to disappear into the water.
“Damn duck just kidnapped my hook!” Ruli said loudly as Deo rushed over with two fishsticks.
“I CAN DIVE IN AFTER IT IF YOU WANT?” he offered as he bit off a huge chunk of fish meat. Ruli peered into the pond and then actually stuck her head into the water, she appeared a second later, long black hair drenched.
“There’s a flipping entrance down there, jeez. Delta must have found this room when she was digging,” Ruli spit some water out as she spoke. Deo looked puzzled as Ruli took her fishstick, rod on the ground still unravelling.
Delta was staring as the rod wasn’t running out of line.
“WHY DO YOU THINK THAT?” Deo wondered with another chew. Ruli tapped the fish stick against her chin.
“Dungeons can’t build entrances unless some serious shit happens, it’s one of the Weissing Rules,” she winked and Deo looked confused.
“Wising?” he echoed and Ruli sighed.
“Weissing, with an E. He was the one who-” she stopped as the rod scraped across the ground slightly.
It suddenly stopped and Ruli paused mid-chew. Something tugged and Ruli grabbed the fishstick with her teeth and yanked at the rod.
Delta was getting worried at the force of the tugs as Ruli’s arms pulled back hard. She was dragged forward a little and Ruli’s eyes went wide with excitement.
“To a ig ne!” she yelled through the fish stick and her legs spread out and with a muffled yell, the rod began to glow.
Then Ruli yanked and something big came rushing down the tunnel. The pond erupted as water rained down as a large form was pulled from the water. Numb began to scream as something almost crushed him. Deo picked up the goblin and leapt away as the campfire went out with a hiss.
The mossglow kept the room alight as the thing got to its feet. It was... Delta stared as the odd lizard turned with a large maw of teeth. It wasn’t an alligator or something similar. Delta could see it was more like a newt had emulated Godzilla and got stuck halfway. The round head and coral-like whiskers moved back forward as it sniffed the air. The blue body and black tongue made it look more monstrous than Delta cared to admit. On its head, two glowing orbs at the end of antennas suddenly blinked on and the room became lit up.
The black eyes locked onto the two humans.
Ruli walked forward, rod on her shoulder.
“Well, A Lure Lizard,” she muttered and the suddenly looks downcast.
“Lizards don’t count in the fishing contest,” she complained as Waddles resurfaced and hopped back into the alcove where it watched with interest.Delta’s heart was pumping like crazy as the biggest monster she had ever seen just came out of the second entrance she had dismissed. What was that tunnel connect to?!
“Run!” Delta yelled, trying to imagine how she would get her Mr Mushy across the mudpit, it couldn’t jump at all.
Numb trying to repeat her words but Deo was holding him like an affectionate pet as he watched with interest at Ruli. The lizard lunged with a snap and Delta screamed as she turned towards Ruli.
The woman swung the fishing rod once and the metal hook grew big enough that it could hook a car.
“Lizards... don’t count!” Ruli growled, red eyes flashing and the hook caught the lizard’s open mouth as Ruli swung so fast that Delta couldn’t see it move. The lizard was lifted off the ground and smashed into the wall. Delta shook as the impact hid hard on her walls.
Ruli yanked and the lizard was pulled back to the ground as the hook tore a large chunk of flesh free and Delta closed her eyes as blood began to pour out. She felt sick at the sight but she risked a glance as the noise died down.
Ruli unhooked her rod as it came loose from the Lizard’s brain. Ruli had gone in through the mouth and pierced the brain.
Ruli looked at the ceiling.
“Sorry, I spilt blood here. I know I said I came for fishing but... I had no choice,” she bowed her head and patted the creature.
“You can have this, I wasn’t after it,” Ruli grinned and pulled the fishstick out between her teeth like a cigar. Deo was cheering.
“AWESOME! THAT WAS AMAZING! YOUR FISHING ROD IS AT LEAST LEGENDARY!” he shouted with glee, hands waving as Numb was dropped to the floor and Ruli smirked.
“Yeah but it's banned in any official competition,” she said as she rolled the wheel and the line pulled back in, hook shrinking again.
Delta was looking at the dead Lure Lizard. It was...
Was it a monster? Delta looked at the entrance in the water. Waddles wasn’t gone for long... was that lizard in the tunnel near her entrance? Was it going to come in when Ruli was gone? Delta looked at the sleeping Waddles.
“Did... you save my gobs from that lizard?” she asked and the duck just kept sleeping. Ruli began to pack up.
Delta looked at the lizard and Ruli.
Ruli was amazing, Delta swallowed and remembered how casually she had Cois speak to her for the first time. Ruli could have killed him before he even had 3 words out. The woman had a legendary fishing rod and hung out with Quiss. There was something about that should have tipped Delta off about Ruli.
Now Ruli was leaving her a monster corpse.
“I’ll be back soon, I want to catch that damn fish on my own strength before long,” she grinned and cleaned the hook of her rod with a dirty cloth. Deo rushed up with the metal case and saluted.
“I WILL RETURN WHEN I AM NOT GROUNDED!” he promised and Numb looked unsure as Delta didn’t answer straight away.
“T-thank you,” Delta managed which made Ruli nod as she nudged Deo towards the entrance.
“Don’t tell Quiss I messed up the fishing... he’ll never let me live it down,” she looked sheepish as Deo nodded with a deep look. Delta was also nodding.
After that event, Delta wasn’t going to piss Ruli off if she could help it.
Delta waved them off and eyed her menus as they reappeared.
Oh, that is good. Delta smiled and sent a small prayer of thanks towards Ruli and Deo for their gifts.
Gifts... Delta’s mind went blank for a moment then her mouth opened in shock.
Delta rushed Gob out after them in a rush.
Old Lady Jose, or Milla to her fellow warriors, inhaled. Her pipe lit up and it seemed to be the only light in the dark of night. She was waiting near the gate entrance of the village. The town had two and they were, after much debate, called the ‘The Gate to Trouble’ and the ‘The Gate to Monsters’.
Milla liked it. It was simple enough to remember. Her pipe lit up and Geven Leafs burned. Her lungs lit up as a dark poison infected them and then instantly healed as the antidote was inhaled.
That was the beauty of the leaf, it both killed and healed. Milla was all about enjoying the most expensive time with the cheapest cost. Like being a village elder, she had all the perks but none of the real problems.
She sat down, made a choice, and then went home. She didn’t have to enforce the rules, didn’t have to write them down, didn’t have to remember them, and best of all, didn’t have to follow them unless her fellow elders made a fuss.
Corruption it may be but no rule really stopped anyone here.
Milla inhaled and her eyes stared into the distance. Power stopped the foolishness. Quiss could stop Ruli, Elder Pic could stop Quiss, and Elder Haldi could stop a lot of them. Milla pondered that for a moment.
This town was a happy accident.
Milla could stop most of them, a few select could stop her. Mrs Dabberghast had the advantage but if Milla struck first...
Eh... that was over. It was the old killer inside her still struggling to the surface. The Wolfbane of Durence was her name. It explained nothing to those she met or newcomers.
Sure, wolves were a problem.
It was always a pleasure to see someone’s face turn pale when Milla said she had never hunted wolves. The gate’s two lamps, so dim, moved in the wind. Milla looked down the road as her daughter returned with the child, Deo.
Woodcutting and nature enjoying. Yes, Ruli looked like she hadn’t done either. Her rod had lingering magical energy. Ruli had used the weapon recently. She moved the pipe to the other side of her mouth.
Ruli Darknessbane was her daughter and yet, the girl was the most disrespectful to Milla of the entire town.
Maybe leaving the girl in the abyss for a year or two was harsh...
Ruli talked loudly as she mentioned the angry manchild, Quiss. In her hands was a book that Milla knew was the girl’s ruined journal... it looked good. Milla smiled as she moved into the shadows without a sound.
They both screamed so wonderfully as she cleared her throat.
Delta moved quickly as her menu dinged.
Her mana had been 79 but after gifting Ruli her diary back, it dipped slightly. Her plan was now going to be put into action! Delta laughed with a cheer as the tunnel just outside the Pond room began to empty out. It stretched and twisted up.
She hummed as Cois and Numb watched with interest as the ground just vanished. While Delta waited for it to finish. Delta explored her gains.
Delta smiled at the gifts. Deo was really a sweetheart. She was going to make this dungeon somewhere Deo could explore and have a great time! Her goblins were friendly, her mushrooms were aplenty, her boss farted, and nothing was going to go wron-
The tunnel finished forming and something flopped out the cave that the tunnel had ran into. A room, which made another room for Delta to claim.
Nu warned and Delta looked down confused as something oozed out the room and over the other moving slime thing. It wasn’t cute, it wasn’t round, and it wasn’t slow. The wet looking corpse covered in slime shuffled back to its feet. Delta backed away as the empty eyes and mouth made a tiny shrieking noise.
“Oh, God. Oh God...” Delta moved slowly back down the tunnel.
“What... is that?” she whispered and Nu appeared with a warning noise.
Nu sounded eager and Delta turned, running past, screaming. The corpses were moving down the tunnel with a shriek. The noise hurt and Delta needed it to stop! A fireball hurled past her and the shrieks turned into pain noises as Cois screamed at them.
“Master does not want you! Master not see you as guests! Burn! Burn! Burn!” he laughed with a mad glee. Delta looked at her goblin and with shame, she ran behind him, scared.
The Slimers kept coming. Delta’s eyes went wide.
Were those things... able to breed? There was way too many of them! Delta watched as another burned. An arrow flew past by and Billy the Archer landed with a narrowed expression.
“Master... says begone,” his voice was raspy for a goblin. Another arrow stuck a Slimer’s knee and it fell over.
Delta felt hope bloom as Numb waved his toothy club with a wild look in his eyes. Her monsters... were going to defeat them. Delta stood up and... with a single finger, pointed at the disgusting things.
“Defeat them, keep my dungeon safe... get rid of these things for my friends!” she begged and her Goblins all roared in response. It was these things or the next person who would enter her dungeon. Mad monsters or a human life. The ones who won't listen or communicate... or the whos who treated her like a friend?
The emotions inside burned like the Slimers in front of her.