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I opened up the search bar and typed in “Dungeon Maker”. I figured looking like that would be a good indication of what the market looked like. I hit search and instantly the full screen emptied. Only 1 result came up.

I was surprised. I knew this wasn’t a popular option for Dungeon Makers, but I figured there would be at least one or two that couldn’t stand the restrictions of the internships. I quickly opened up the 1 task that I saw. To my surprise, it was not posted by a Dungeon Maker, but instead by a Mage. It didn’t give his full information, just his name: Alder Grimsbane.

“Level 2 adventuring party seeking to collaborate with Dungeon Maker to create a level 1 dungeon. Ideal Dungeon Maker will be at least level 2 with experience in creating level 1 dungeons. For more information please reply to the task.”

I shook my head. A level 2 Dungeon Maker probably wouldn’t be working with a level 2 party. And they definitely wouldn’t be looking to make a level 1 dungeon. Each level increment in dungeons represented an exponential increase in value. Level 2 dungeons generated way more revenue than level 1 dungeons; thus, most level 2 Dungeon Makers wouldn’t make level 1 dungeons if they could avoid it.  In fact, the only level 1 dungeon most made was their first dungeon; once they made that their Create A Dungeon skill instantly advanced to level 2 and they could move on to more interesting dungeons.  

“Should I even bother?” I thought to myself. I took another look at the post and noticed something I hadn’t seen earlier. The task had been posted over 2 months ago. Now, it was possible that the party had received plenty of offers but was being picky about who they chose. But I thought it was more likely that there weren’t any takers. No other tasks came up when I searched, which means there probably weren’t many Dungeon Makers doing this, at least here in Asance. Other cities might be different.

“It might just be worth a shot.” I decided to reply to the task.

“Hello, I’m interested in your task. I’m a Dungeon Maker. We can meet at the refreshment stand by the task board if you’re interested.” I typed out my message and quickly sent it.

I sat down and sipped at my drink, settling in to wait. The vendor might have claimed it was a berry from the 20th floor of the dungeon, but it tasted just like grape juice to me. Still, it was good and cold, and it was hot outside so I wasn’t going to complain.

However, before I could take more than a single sip, my holophone buzzed. I held it up and the message projected in front of me.

“We happen to be in the area. We’ll meet you there in 5 minutes.”

I smiled. This Alder fellow might have been trying to play it cool, but I felt more confident now that I was right when I thought he and his party were desperate to find someone. Even if they were in the area, they’d be in the Public Dungeon. To get back in 5 minutes they’d have to cut whatever they were doing short and sprint out. They couldn’t be on too high of a level or else they would need more than 5 minutes. Since their entire party was level 2, they were probably still on level 1. Most adventurers prefer to grind levels by taking on dungeons at least a level lower than their party average. It was safer for everyone involved that way.

I didn’t wait long before I saw a likely group approaching. I saw what looked like a Cleric, a Rogue, a Warrior, a Ranger, and a Mage approaching. I was guessing about their classes, but I had some indications to work with. The man I took to be a cleric wore robes that might have been mage robes, meant to boost his mana recovery ability and woven from the thread of an Arcanid, the arcane spider that was commonly found in 4th level dungeons. The robes could have been indicative of any magic class, but the wand in his belt with a heart shape at the top either meant he had “unique” tastes or he was using a healing wand.

The Rogue was much less ambiguous, dressed in dark leather armor and wearing a black as night cloak that covered their face so I couldn’t even tell if they were male or female. Why they were wearing a cloak in the middle of summer was beyond me. Maybe they just thought it looked cool.

Next came the Warrior. Warriors were always easy for me to spot. Huge, dressed in full armor, and carrying large weapons, they looked like the standard “Type A” men and women that chugged down some Enchanted Cricket Protein Powder Shakes before bumping chests with each other. Not to say all Warriors were one-dimensional stereotypes, but this one seemed like he was.

The Ranger was also easy to identify, as she had a longbow and quiver slung over her shoulder. Out of all them, she seemed the most normally dressed, wearing kevlar padded armor that had slits on the arms to let the armor breathe on hot days like today. The longbow combined with the lighter armor meant Ranger. Enchanted Archers typically wore magic robes or the like, while Snipers more often used Mana Rifles since their skills didn’t require that their weapon be a type of bow.

Finally, the Mage that posted the task, Alder Grimsbane. As it turned out, it was Ms. Grimsbane, not Mr. Grimsbane. She had a huge staff for a magic focus, likely made from the wood of the Public Dungeon, characteristic of many Mages in the area. A crystal glowed on the top. I couldn’t be sure, but it looked like a Beast Core. The red glow to the crystal indicated she had chosen to focus on the Fire skill tree.

However, the most obvious and memorable trait about her was her hat. Like something out of an old movie, I think there was one called the Witch of Iz or something, she wore a hat that looked like it belonged on a particularly theatrical Witch rather than a Mage. I highly doubted that it could have served any particular purpose other than her own aesthetic taste as no one grinding level 1 dungeons would spend the amount of money needed to gather enough magic materials to make a hat of that size.

The collection of strange individuals walked in my direction, looking around them.

I wasn’t the only one sitting at the refreshment stand, as quite a few people had come to get a cold drink. I raised my hand and waved, calling out to them. “Here!”

They looked in my direction and I could see their faces fall as they took in my age and poor appearance.

I felt a twinge of annoyance. “Beggars can’t be choosers. You guys wouldn’t be my first choice either.” I muttered under my breath before quickly schooling my features into a polite expression as they came towards me.

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A note from Andrew Reise

Still one more chapter to come!  It'll probably be very late tonight though.


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About the author

Andrew Reise

  • United States

Bio: Author. My novels at the moment include Luxury Cafe Owner and Grave of Heroes. Luxury Cafe Owner is complete at 57 chapters and available to read on Amazon. The first book in the Grave of Heroes series, Evil Star, is on the back burner. I have decided not to do serialized releases for it, and to release it all at once on Amazon. My latest LitRPG series, Dungeon Ecology, is currently being released chapter by chapter here and on Moonquill!

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