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It began by pushing the room to the max size Delta could manage. With her DP dipping below 200, the room was closer to a small hall.

Delta floated and looked down at the space before her.

It was the second large space on the second floor. She closed her eyes and spent some Mana to summon walls. Lots of walls. The design choice grinded loudly until it hit the ceiling and cloaked all sight from one side of the room to another.

They were strong walls, thick enough to allow the Pygmies to tunnel through, giving the new digger team something to work on, but with enough space that a person and maybe a small person could stand side by side.

It had cost her some DP to push the room to this size and Delta was going to make the most of it. The stone walls began to take shape and straight away Delta had the path split and then split again. Only one true end could be seen from above and so many dead ends but Delta was going to end it there.

She added some moss to the walls to give a vibe of an old ruin hidden far away. Delta’s own little labyrinth... hidden inside her jungle... which was kind of a natural labyrinth in itself. She hoped people didn’t cry when they saw the maze...

Having the walls so thick meant the Pygmies could easily traverse through and under the maze to arrive at any certain spot but the tunnels looked a little obvious, the moss and creeping vines only hid them so well, so Delta felt the Menu of this room appear. Since it was lacking anything really special, the options for the upgrade were rather simple.

It was still nice to see Sys going above and beyond, trying to make Delta’s ideas better than she could ever hope. Delta purchased the ground replacement, the wall carvings, and the shifting walls for now. Until people actually started reaching the second floor and understanding the keys... there was little point getting all of the upgrades for such an out of place room.

The labyrinth floor rippled as stone rose above soil and completed the feeling of stumbling upon an artificial wonder. The steps of walking would sound louder too so Delta could, if she was feeling mean, use the mist and have stomping sound effects to scare adventurers. The walls bubbled furiously as some parts sunk and others expanded. Images and carvings of things began to appear. Delta saw herself.

A girl with a long flowing skirt and a tie in the wind. Floating in her palm was a mushroom. Delta’s carved face showed distrust. Aptly, the words below were in English, oddly enough.

They read as ‘The beginning’. Below her feet were three goblins holding her up, one face blank of any other features while the other two looked beastly and odd.

The timeline of events showed Delta a shocking amount events that had passed. Watching the blank-faced goblin become Fran the Knight, the making of the Pond, an odd image of Delta pulling a glowing box out of a chest and it speaking.

The walls weaved and if one was careful to follow the timeline of events, the end could be found but the shifting walls muddled events and Delta had to chase the fleeting next chapters of her journey so far. She had been so surprised to see herself grow from a lonely sad girl to a woman surrounded by monsters and purpose.

It was like a little prototype archive of her adventure so far. Delta patted the wall for doing a good job on making her not look too bad in 2D.

The walls shifted to let her easily walk forward despite her ability to phase through anything, but she appreciated the gesture nonetheless. Soon she was in the last room. Until more people appeared, she didn’t do more than give the key an altar. She moved the rock up and it formed a mushroom shape.

Delta stared.

“Can you be more... regal? That’s an important key!” she complained to the system. The mushroom altar paused before it grew a little crown to sit the key on a plush pillow.

“That’s not what I meant!” Delta put her hands on her hips. She knew Sys was just amusing herself but still. Turning, she headed back to the village of the Pygmies and looked around the space. She knew the little fellows would be getting some guests or invaders so she tried to imagine what they could do to prove not as a threat but as help!

She made a barrel with some torches and apples. The village could be somewhat of a resting spot before braving the labyrinth! This would show it was in good interest to not murder the Pygmies. The little folk looked at the barrels in confusion before Delta made a large sign like gate that simply declared ‘Pygmy Village. Welcome Travellers!’.
The chief peered at the message before he turned and chirped at his people and heroes. Delta was still getting the hang of the language and mostly got ‘Gift...to us....people...prizes!’

She was glad they understood her intent.

---

The priest leaned on her staff. The powerful Chief’s words were a great truth indeed as they spread around the area.

“The great Mother to us all have delivered the greatest trap of all! She will convince tributes to enter the village and be a gift to us! The people shall trust us and we shall strike and take their treasures for the Mother once they enter the dark tunnels! Prizes will soak the soil! Such is the wit of the Great Mother!” he roared and the Priest felt her faith grow stronger and she almost knelt on her knees to pray there and then.

“I want the fancy parts!” Tinker shouted with a warning.

“I want their flesh...” Fungal hissed.

And Priest wanted the people to thrive. All was in accordance with the great Mother!

---

Delta, The Mother left, her words quiet but deep.

To the circus.

Nu slithered into the space next to and the tiny folk went still with fear. The Moon to the Mother’s sunlight. The shadow cast by the Mother.

It said nothing to them. It needed not to. It understood them and the Pygmies understood Nu. Serve Delta or perish.

The Nu planted a large wooden board with words on it next to the entrance to the moving tunnels.

Words quickly spread of the warning it carried.

If you behave, the next part is only a little bad. Step on the minions and your path will be hell -Nu

The small sect of Shadow worshippers in the Village took the name to heart.

The Min’ion Clan was soon waiting for their first guest.

---

The circus on the second floor was the oddest part of Delta’s Dungeon, and she did not make that claim lightly. It really was something she found more than created but it was still now her space. Adopting Renny just made it all the more important to properly do it up and think of it as home... just like the rest of her Dungeon.

The large opening that allowed Wilhelm the giant gorilla to pass showed the statue of Renny’s father that looked carefully washed. She could see where various flowers, fruits, and even an odd pile of pebbles had been placed at the feet of the statue like offerings.

Delta guessed it was the closest thing Renny had to a grave for his father.

There was the sound of a rock being kicked, making Delta jump and spin to see an innocent Renny, hands in pockets looking like he was just accidentallyaround when he scared Delta.

“DO- Don’t do that, Devina is bad enough!” she chided with a swipe of her hand. Renny neatly covered his painted face politely as his shoulders shook. Delta blew out a sigh. That damn mime enjoyed this way too much.

“So after much deliberation, I have decided you and the circus are worthy of my powers and upgrades,” Delta said smoothly, trying to sound suave. Renny shrugged and pointed to the door as if saying Delta didn’t have to.

“But...I like making things better!” she backpedaled. Renny then waved to the circus tent, his large ghoulish mouth stretching in amusement. Grumbling, Delta looked at the circus tent before entering. She hadn’t been in here much since finding Renny. It felt... invasive? But that was part of the whole vibe Delta had stuck in her head about the circus not being part of the Dungeon.

The musty unlit space was just as she remembered. It still felt a little depressing knowing this had been a gravesite more than a tent of wonder in its last moments. She felt Renny stand beside her.

His smile was smaller... a little sad. He gave her a once over.

He nodded. It was permission to influence the space and it made Delta relax. She tried to take his hand but the best she could do was occupy the same space.

“I’ll make sure it looks good. I’ll make your Dad proud that it’s coming back,” she promised. Renny looked down at their hands before looking away.

Were his cheeks actually... turning purple? Oh... delicious revenge was Delta’s. Renny walked forward and seemed to silently clear his throat. He looked around before patting one of the beams that kept the whole thing up.

“Oh I should be able to just upgrade the whole thing in one go but I’ll keep you updated! Any requests?” she grinned. Renny tapped his chin before making some motions. Up and down he caught something.

“Things to juggle?” she guessed. Renny nodded before he then held out both hands and pretended to walk across a thin ledge or wire.

“Oh, a pole!” she clapped. Delta had never been to a circus before! She...

Never been.

Never. Been.

Why? Had she?

She didn’t quite remember. Memories of joy... faces of people... all gone with a name.

Renny snapped his fingers in front of her face and Delta blinked up at him. He leaned in, face turning a little wrinkly. Was he frowning?

“I’m fine, just had a thought go down a bad path,” she waved off his stare. He didn’t look convinced but he dropped the matter. That had been weird.

She shook her head before opening the Circus menu. The upgrades weren’t as weird as she expected but still, it had a few surprises for her.

Delta purchased the first upgrade as Renny lead Missy in by the hand, the curious little eyes looking around the area of her home she hadn’t yet been in. Delta smiled at the way Renny was patient with her pointing and gasping at things she had never seen before.

The rough floor was neatly combed over and arranged to keep the ring’s soil, which was lighter like sand, contained by a metal ring that was rapidly being freed from rust and filith. Audience stands creaked and groaned as their collapsed wooden state was undone and they stood proud once more, ready for the audience that was to come. The thick fabric walls billowed as dust and tears vanished like bad memories.

The whole circus tent rippled as it rose higher and higher like a sagging beast finally inhaling after so many years of silence. The wooden pillars bulged and began to reshape themselves into statues of various people holding the tent up with their hands.

A woman with a whip and a wild grin that reminded Delta of Ruli. A man with so many muscles the wood looked ready to crack from just emulating his figure. A soft shapely woman with a veil over her face, her calm eyes looking skyward. The final of the four pillar statues was a man breathing fire, the flames curling into the ceiling and merging to show them spreading.

Renny moved forward, dropping Missy’s hand as he stood center point of the ring, spinning as he stared at the faces.

“I don’t know them but they came with the upgrade... Sys might have added something in. Do you know them?” Delta tried not to intrude too much as Renny looked downright dazed. The Mime turned to Delta and slowly he put a single hand over his chest. He tapped his heart gently.

Exact words weren’t needed. Delta stood there and looked at them.

“She’s the Beastmaster?” she pointed to the woman with the whip. Renny nodded quickly. He pumped one arm and petting something.

“Strong and great with animals,” Delta smiled.

Missy pulled on Renny’s sleeve and pointed to the slim woman with the flowing cloth dress and veil. Renny swayed and his odd but graceful steps had Delta clapping her hands in understanding.

“She was a dancer, she looks really pretty,” Delta said and Missy nodded as her eyes glowed a little pink in awe.

Renny went around and around, his gestures and emotions growing as he told Delta and Missy more and more about the people. Rennys hand motions and mimes became so excited that Delta soon was only able to pick out words or guess at them before Renny moved on to his next sentence.

Then he stopped as Wilhelm the giant silver ape stuck his head in, apparently feeling Renny’s excited mood more than anything. Renny softly pointed to the Beastmaster and Wilhelm stared at it for a long moment before his face vanished, a soft sad huff sounding before Wilhelm’s loud steps left the Circus once more.

“It’s hard to wake up one day and have everything you know just gone... it feels like someone else’s life after a while,” Delta said when Renny didn’t move after that. Missy held Renny’s hand again and tried to hold Delta’s at the same time.

The Mime seemed to look at Delta for a long moment before he tilted his head to the side, curious.

“I wasn’t always Delta, ya know? I was…” Delta trailed off as the Circus tent flowed with fresh air and the scent of sweet snacks and exotic spices soon followed.

“I was...” Delta repeated slowly.

There was something there... just about to come loose like a baby tooth after days of pushing and wriggling. Delta was...

There was a feeling of heartburn and sudden shock as Delta fell to her knees. At first, she was sure she had tried to recall something forbidden but when her human mind recoiled in pain and fear, her Dungeon senses instantly narrowed down on the source of the problem.

Just beyond the Circus, in the room yet to be touched which was going to be for Renny’s key challenge, a crack had formed in the hard walls. She hissed and Renny was by her side, his hand formed around the handle of some invisible weapon.

Delta could only watch as the walls buckled and the crack was widened by one thin black leg. She felt like that leg was hollowing into her own head!

The hole was pushed open and the drooling face of a Spider stared in.

It slowly took a few steps into the Dungeon. It didn’t walk like it was nervous... but enjoying the sweet success of breaking in.

Delta felt a little bit better. She had faced these guys before. Honestly, she had even forgotten they really existed outside of being things Hob and Gob had thrown in. The confidence lasted pretty well until her vision briefly looked past the first intruder.

The tunnel beyond... was black from moving shadows. This wasn’t baby spiders or the three force from before. Delta stood and felt like her skin crawled as an army of the monsters all slowly moved forward.

Delta’s Dungeon was being Invaded and she didn’t have Deo or Ruli to help this time. The darkness beyond the far end of the Circus tent where the performers and staff would enter and exit was soon filled with the staring eyes of Spiders.

Some were the Forest Spiders she had absorbed before but there were new ones. Glowing green tiny ones with their thorax raised. A spider that seemed to be made of web more than hair. Other shapes moved in the gaps but Delta stood.

“Run-” she cried, not wanting Renny and Missy to be overrun.

The words were perhaps better suited for the Spiders, Delta thought after a moment as Missy’s eyes turned black and a few seconds later her gaze swept across the first few Spiders that suddenly burst into action towards Renny.

Spiders... regardless if they glowed green, were made of web or even if they had tails... burned equally it seemed.

Missy’s eyes didn’t look away and her posture was one of defiance and anger. Another few Spiders were shrieking and curling up as Renny neatly made finger gun motions at them. The Spiders, knocked out of their victory from coming into the Dungeon, began to zerg rush them and even with their amazing powers, Delta’s friends would be overrun.

Just as the first one would reach Renny, fangs bared, a giant silver fist appeared, smashing it into green and white paste. Wilhelm roared, his fury stretching across the Jungle floor, daring these insects to come closer.

Delta glared at the Spiders, for some reason... their bodies... their mere existence made her upset.

The odd reason aside... these guys were slowing her project down and if Kemy and her friends came back... Delta was not having these guys screwing up their adventure!

“Fine! Come on! I don’t need an army to beat you back. I got laser princess mushroom, a sassy Mime, and a pissed off giant ape!” she yelled.

Her voice carried much further than she meant to and before she knew it, every leaf... every stone... and even the very air trembled with her voice.

The entire Second Floor went very still for a moment and the Spiders all froze as if sensing this.

Delta narrowed her expression.

“Welcome to the Jungle, now get your crap and leave,” she warned... just once. The nearest spider was still for the longest moment before purpose filled all its eyes and it stepped forward.

It almost seemed to vibrate out its intention.

War.

It was in that instant, Delta saw the hand that guided these creatures. A mother... a caretaker... a creator... and she was sending these spiders in to die first to test Delta.

This thing was using her kids to feel the water.

That… made Delta angry.

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Alpha_ @Alpha_ ago

Thanks for the chapter

mrnuclear @mrnuclear ago

Thanks for the chapter. Glad to see more being released.

Joelseph14 @Joelseph14 ago

Ohhhhh those spiders fucked up thank you very much for the chapter

    Evrin @Evrin ago

    Y'know...if she gave her mushrooms free reign to spread into the enemy dungeon...she could finish them off at the source.

    Spiders don't really have a good defense against spores.

      NotMC @NotMC ago

      They are in a room full of semi sentient, warring mushroom clans. And there is a new tunnel.

      I would be really surprised if the shrooms didn't spread through that opening.

      Misery's End @Misery's End ago

      O.o why does everyone think the spider invasion is another dungeon?

      The broodmother is a creature that was empowered by Delta's dungeon mana just like the inhabitants of Durence. She had her spiders dig a entrance into the dungeon so she could eat the core. Nothing more.

      There is a simple reason I know for a fact it's not a another dungeon. That because the inhabitants of Durence would have felt its mana. Infact the one elder that put things in clay pots(Jevies?) mentioned he was waiting to harvest the spiders once they ripened enough.

      NotMC @NotMC ago

      We already got a kinda sorta explanation in the story fo all of that, yeah.

      ishner @ishner ago

      Gangs.

      The stars and the bloods set clearly waring GANGS of mushrooms, not clans.

      Dragonsword @Dragonsword ago

      Well two mothers are going to have a war with each other. One sees their children as pawns while the other sees her kids as precious gems to nurture. Now guess which one is the dungeon?

      NotMC @NotMC ago

      No, since they are all related they have to be family clans!

loliZ321 @loliZ321 ago

war hoo what is it good for

wolfmaster @wolfmaster ago

War is right. Time for a rumble in the jungle!

TunnelTy @TunnelTy ago

*insert circus themed turrets*

I would say she needs to put up some defences, but to be frank... She makes very dangerous things without even trying.

Laser shroomesse, Bob, two buff as hell frogmen. Ancient buff frogman. Psycho ninja hotspring caretaker. Contracted monster of dark Drake.... Who even KNOWS the full extent of his wrath. A pyromancer and pyrophiliac goblin. Grade two goblins. A mushlord, a mushboar... Giant angry red colored bees with massive stingers.... A blood thirsty tree known for heavenly tiered abilities... a terrifying village of pygmyshrooms.

Yeah... To be frank she basically rolls for monsters and gets like...... I'm not even sure. Her intent is like half ignored. I can't tell if she's getting Nat 20, or a ten and barely passing her save rolls.

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    Roethan @Roethan ago

    Yeah, you have to wonder if she's getting really lucky with her creations or if they are right at the verge of being too strong for her to control.

      CrimsonEclipse18 @CrimsonEclipse18 ago

      I donkt think it’ll be possible for Delta to create something so strong it will be out of her control. But she definitely needs to consider who she contracts, the Dark Drake alone would fuck her entire dungeon up if he wants to.

      Premium

      Roethan @Roethan ago

      I agree she could control anything but would take constant effort. Look at her strained relationship with the Tree boss, (forgot her name). She's just so loveable that the monsters all choose to do as she wants without issue.

      TunnelTy @TunnelTy ago

      I mean, it's not a question of what she summons being too powerful, it's more like wyin, something being too bloodthirsty to really mesh well with the rest of the dungeon. All of her creatures are weirdly strong. For good sakes meastro can not simply survive, BUT MATCH a resident of durence. A woman whose voice is so powerful, and do full of emotion and bardly power it's literally deadly. And he could withstand and critique it, like you or I listening to the radio.

      Delta has insanely powerful creatures, if we base it on the day to day only recently empowered durence villagers. Now maybe they aren't as strong as heyday durencians, but compared to what may well be the average adventurer, they must be rather nuts.

      After all, we do lack any real scale. We have tropes, but not a scale. The kids are basically inept, and the average people of durence are a horrible memory for the rest of the world, meanwhile ruli and quiss, two who seem to be less but actually showing a decent average for the town's adventurers, are ridiculously strong. And yet even he would be scared of haldi the cheese mage.

      We only can think that the spider should be a normal enemy, and possibly a beginner level enemy, which means any novice adventurer, with a little bit of brains, should be able to handle it.

      But Delta is very much about less aggression and more alternative means to an end of dungeoning. But she's completely unaware of the true nature of pygmies, and the wyin boss is some sort of weird rebellious child for her. She'll listen, but she'such more likely to kill than even Luna who does little else but consider ways to be super gorey.

      The question is, if she actually tries for a strong monster to defend the dungeon, what's it's personality going to end up like? Is it gonna be blood thirsty and uncontrollable, or is it gonna end up being more of a pacifist than Delta and thus ironically useless?

      Nothing says a monster not under contract can be out of her control... But nothing says it can't be dungeon self destructive either. As that can come in many forms, like wyin or the pygmies. And while they haven't had a chance to draw blood yet, nothing says they won't try their best.

      Though funnily enough I think the pygmies are her best defence. XD

      Baneangel @Baneangel ago

      I believe strongly that this is where Nu comes in. As he has demonstrated numerous times, he shall allow Delta all the frivolities he possible can, but when a creature acts out against Delta or displays behavior that may influence her in a bad way, he puts a boot down. A hard one at that.

      He outright told Wynn that he would destroy her if she ever acted out of line or threatened Delta. And he made it blatantly clear to the Pygmies this chapter that their mischief, to a point, would not be tolerated in the slightest.

      With this in mind, I do not know if it matters if Delta is aware or not of their nature. The hidden iron spine of the system, that being Nu, will get their hands dirty in order to ensure Delta is kept safe and allowed to live her joyous life. All creatures be damned if they encroach.

      I would also like to add that dungeons seem to be as much a product of their environments as their environments are products of them. Growing up near Durence, I would presume that her growth has been greatly accelerated. That and the fact that she has at least two mana vents that are constantly feeding her. Anyways, when you grow up surrounded by monsters, you would never guess that you yourself are a monster.

      happypanda @happypanda ago

      Its not just about strength. Delta's monsters are all adult human level intelligent (even the critters), they train like freaks everyday and they can coordinate and strategize like adventurers. The goblins can form a full adventurer party if they want - a monk, a ranger, a mage, a scout, a warrior. They even have a secret mushroom bard. I am pretty sure Fera can cook up potions for them and she is probably also good at gun-kata or some tavern-brawling-style shit. Lets not even talk about the second floor. I can already feel the frustration of all bronze rankers and at least 50% of the silvers.

      Misery's End @Misery's End ago

      But that's only if they go in to blow shit up. If they catch a clue that the dungeon is more about puzzles and trials, they stand the chance of progressing at a somewhat fair pace till they reach the micochondria tribe of midgets.

      On a side note, I dont think there will be many that are able to pass Delts hoard of protectors by deception. They will either blast their way thrue or find some of her more sneaky of her brood taking care of those that have ulterior motives as they try to go the peaceful route.

    Premium

    Roethan @Roethan ago

    I agree, that makes a lot of sense. Letting Nu keep the dungeon residents in line frees Delta up to do what she wants/needs without worrying too much about the details. It also let's her be innocent with Nu willing to be the disciplinarian. That's probably not a good long term solution, but as long as her children see that she CAN be the hard parent when she needs to it will work out well.

    I'm convinced the spiders are stronger than normal, just like Delta's dungeon is. You got hints of that by how serious Ruli got when they attacked the spider's domain a few chapters ago. That is said, I'm still thinking Delta's dungeon is the stronger of the two.

      Baneangel @Baneangel ago

      I do not see too much of an issue with the setup where Nu acts as the enforcer. After all, Nu's existence, prior to Delta corrupting him, was to manage the sub-features of the dungeon and streamline the cores choices. Taking care of the dirty little details if you will. I agree that it might not be the best long term solution, but it would work. I also like your point that Delta might need to show from time to time that she can be strict.

      On another note, while Delta is still very innocent and tries her best to remain that way, I believe that she is starting to understand what her denial may cost her as her responsibilities grow and more beings become aware of her existence. Over the last few chapters it seems as if she isn’t just focusing on making a fantasy land, but also tried to actively to grow her defenses. Mostly to ensure the safety of her children still, but also because she now realizes the risk that one day some group may come who truly wishes her harm. Enter spiders…

      As for the spiders, they are very abnormal and have been both bolstered by the ambient mana given off by Delta's dungeon as well as the mana given off by the local mana wells. They have probably gone through several evolutions as well given that they have developed a domain of their own and a brood.

      Misery's End @Misery's End ago

      I just had an epiphany... Nu is Delta's dungeon fairy xD

      Though what does that make Sys?

      loliZ321 @loliZ321 ago

      sys is the dungeon wisp/ system

stads @stads ago

nice chapter thx for writing it yay the spider war should give delta loads of resourches