A note from Kuropon

Well Christmas is approaching, I'll be taking the end week of December off so don't be surprised when the chappies stop. 

“That will be enough.”

Roland slung a large sledgehammer over his shoulder that he used to break up some rocks. After spending a few days in this cavern filled with precious metals his mining skill actually got some use and leveled up severalfold.

Having a crafting class allowed people to gain some gathering skills to a certain degree. The mining skill would allow him to spot weak spots in some of the rocks. It would also somewhat make his hits penetrate into the rocks, this, in turn, caused the rocks to shatter easier.

While he already had the basic mining skill this was the first time that it was properly leveled up. It seemed that when using better quality tools and mining rare materials it was leveling faster than usual.

After spending four days in this cavern he had managed to fill the golem up to the brim. This was not due to him managing to gain so many metals and minerals. It was mostly because he had to cut around the ores which increased the chunk sizes.

This meant that most of the items that he had mined were just simple rocks that would need to be properly treated. Luckily he had a proper assistant that could take care of such things and his wife was also a bonus worker that he was slowly opening up to.

Roland’s shop had grown through the years. There were even situations of people walking up to him to ask for a job, though most of those quickly disappeared after hearing that the dwarven union was still not being favorable to him.

The spider bots didn’t have much space to cram inside, but they would need to somehow get through this ride along with the tons of rocks and monster parts inside the large spatial bag. There were still some left over resources as they went deep into the ground.


“Yes Agni, we are leaving now.”

Agni started jumping around in joy the moment he noticed that Roland was slowly packing up the spider golems. The cavern was somewhat uninteresting to the tamed beast, only one more monster wandered into it through the lava pit which caused Agni to be bored through most of this mining expedition.

Before leaving Roland glanced over at the spot in the cavern that led into the other dungeon. While the metals would allow him to create better gear, his levels would still continue to increase slowly. Now on the other hand he saw a chance to fix that problem, he just needed to make some preparations before coming here again. Then maxing out his current lord class in one dungeon run wouldn’t be that far-fetched.

With more hopes in his mind, he left this mining area and headed towards the boss chamber that he cleared out previously. The map didn’t show any monster inside but this didn’t mean that it would not appear.

He also knew that unless he opened the closed entrance door, the boss fight would not trigger. Thus for the time being he could relax while approaching the exit. Luck was on his side as the large boss chamber doors were wide open. This was a telltale sign that the boss monster did not respawn yet.

This was not the same for the monsters in front of the chamber as he spotted some strange-looking flaming mantis monsters there.

Volcanic Kamacuras L 79

There were two of them just standing there while looking around. Roland knew that he could come closer and that they would not attack him. This was something of a rule in the dungeons as well, for some reason the boss chambers could not be entered by any monster from the outside.

Thanks to this strange rule he was now able to pelt these monsters with spells while they could not attack him. They went down rather quickly as at this point Roland’s stats were already something that a high level gold adventurer would have problems with. Any monster below the 100th level did not stand a chance.

With a couple of concentrated ice arrows, they were out of commission. Roland continued through the corridors as he did before but this time around Agni could aid him against the monsters here. Even though Roland was over-leveled for this section of the dungeon he still needed to be careful.

There were many hidden areas where he could be ambushed by monsters, some traps here and there. The only reason he was able to progress fast was thanks to his inbuilt map, through which he could see most of the hidden enemies. It showed him how much more good information was important as opposed to pure battling strength.

“Not far from home now Agni, let us take a small break, there are people above us…”

After about a day of walking, he arrived at the larger area with the exit section. He used more mana to widen his scanning range and thus he discovered some dots above. These were clearly people going through the laval lake.


They both sat down on the ground while the mule golem slowly lumbered behind him. If Roland popped up now, the adventurers outside would surely discover him. His suit also came equipped with a working timer so he knew the best time to make a run for it.

Even though the dungeon didn’t have a day and night cycle, people still adhered to it. The best moment to make his move would still be at about 1 am when everyone was already asleep. The adventurers that stayed here slept at this time too and camped out at a few well-known spots that were far away from this lava lake.

Without anything around him that he could fear Roland decided to remove his helmet. This new one had specialized latches and magnetic runes that would make it very hard to remove. Even if someone damaged the latch, the magnets would still make it stick to his head. After that one time where he revealed his face to his brother, he was not willing to make the same blunder.

Years had passed since and after establishing himself in the city of Albrook he started to feel more content in his own skin. The only real reason keeping him from seeking out his family was the perpetrator behind the assassination attempt. But this could have also been a false flag that he had forced himself into believing.

The air inside of this cave was not the best, hot with a smudge of sulfur. His helmet possessed a filtering feature that he could expand to a smaller area if he gave it some more mana.

Roland looked somewhat tired after spending almost a week down in this dungeon. His eyes were also somewhat strained, even though the sleeping resistance made him less sleepy it only elevated the symptoms of being sleep deprived. The longer he stayed like this, the worse he would feel.

While sitting and waiting he took out a canister with some water to drink and a bit of dried jerky. It was bearable to eat this but ever since Elodia showed up and gave him proper meals he was unsatisfied with these rations.

He wasn’t sure what it was but the closer he got to his home, the more he thought about the girl working in the store instead. There was a lot of crafting to do, more weapons to build and more gold to be earned. But for some reason, spending time with that woman felt like the bigger prize here.

“Heh, maybe I’ve just gotten old…”

Roland smiled weakly while looking to Agni who raised his ears at the statement. Even though he looked like a twenty-year-old young man, he would be past forty if he counted the years from his old world.

Normally a person at his age would already be married and have a few kids. This was not something that he was against but it wasn’t a realistic option for Roland here. At least not in the past, now after a long period of peace he wasn’t sure if settling down was off the table anymore.

‘I wonder if ol’ pops would blow a gasket if he knew that one of his noble sons was together with a commoner…’

He wasn’t sure what his father would do. Getting together with women that weren’t of noble descent wasn’t totally out of the picture. The only real rule was for the first wife to be a proper noble, no one really cared if the rest were concubines if an heir was already here.

This was the same for his family. The first wife was a daughter of a noble house while the second had been from a merchant that was more in line with the commoner heritage. The third wife was a mystery though, was she also a noble or some wench that he picked up along on the of the military expeditions.

When he was in the Arden estate he tried gathering some information but he couldn’t find any about his mother’s identity. It was as if the baron made sure that no one would figure out who she really was. There were no records of her lineage or any paintings left behind, just words and rumors that pointed to her being a commoner. If that was the truth, was anyone's guess.

Times started passing while he tried to focus on more productive things like thinking about improving the golem design. Many ideas floated about, mostly ones with a larger design that with the current resources would finally be possible.

‘Agni, get ready.’

The Ruby Wolf perked up as Roland finally stood up from his spot. It was past 1 am at night and there hadn’t been any movement above for quite some time. Finally, the moment of truth came as he grabbed the larger golem to make a run for it.

With his helmet back on Roland could scan the area for heat signatures. With it, he was able to exit at the right time when the lava lake cleared out. Just like before he grabbed the slow-moving mule golem and made a run for it. The only difference was that he instantly closed the entrance behind him.

With the new armor allowing him to run faster than before he was able to get to the shore even before the lake started closing. After leaving the golem down on the ground he continued to look around.

“Do you see anyone Agni?”

Without spotting any dots on his map he turned to Agni who had a tracking skill. The wolf started sniffing at the air for any current close by smells. While he was able to pick up the scents of many people, there didn’t seem that there was anyone in the vicinity.


Agni gave out a howl before snorting with his nose as always to indicate the fact that he couldn’t spot anything.

“Good, let’s go, be vigilant we aren’t out of the dungeon yet.”

Even though Roland was out of the mining area without being spotted, it was not the time to relax. At any moment a monster could poke its ugly head out, or a band of adventurer bandits could try to rob him blind.

This also seemed to be the case on this fateful day. When Roland left the area with the lava lake he came across some people. They didn’t go unnoticed by him thanks to his radar but from the locations, they were occupying it looked like they were up to something.

There were five of them in total, two of them were blocking the path that he needed to take to leave the lower region of the dungeon. Three others were on high ground and probably armed with ranged weapons.

Something like this wasn’t out of the ordinary. Some adventurers belonged to the thieves guild and from time to time would go to the dungeon to perform some bandit work. In a place like this, any crime could be attributed to the monsters living here. Any corps would vanish or could be tossed into lava if the perpetrators wanted to be sure.

Normally a person would try to go around such an obvious trap. Roland wasn’t a normal person though and this radar of his had another handy built-in feature. It could somewhat measure the levels of the people within range. Thanks to this he knew that the people there were far below him when it came to strength.

There were three options for him here. First, he could just backtrack a bit and wait for them to go away. The second option would be to take a roundabout way to the exit that would increase the travel time by an hour or two. Then the last option was to go forward and just fight them.

“Agni, we have a couple of idiots waiting for us, be sure not to get hit by any of the arrows.”

Agni gave out a growl as he had also realized that there was someone waiting there behind the corner. Roland’s actions might have looked foolhardy to other people but he calculated the risks taken here. From his point of view, these bandits would not fare any better than any monsters that he could meet at this dungeon.

“Halt! Don’t take another step!”

The enemies shouted at him the moment he entered their trap. One of the three that was previously on higher elevation jumped down to cut off his escape route. Though when he discovered a large Mystical Ruby Wolf there he jumped back in fright.

“Are you sure you aren’t over your head?”

“Shut up and give us all your money, and leave that thing behind!”

The person that seemed to be the leader was a large brutish looking man with more body hair than hair on his head. The other four looked like your typical party composed of mostly archers and warrior types. He even spotted a dual dagger rogue that was next to the leader.

All of them hovered around the eightieth level. This probably gave them enough confidence to pull something like this off. There were a lot of new tier 2 adventurers that wondered about these dungeons. The bandits here were probably waiting for one of the newbies to make the mistake of wandering out at night.

“Listen here, I’m tired so I’m going to overlook this, but you need to move out of the way.”

“Look at this bastard, I think he doesn’t realize what situation he is in boss.”

One of the bandits laughed while shouting at their leader. After getting closer to the five Roland’s minimap picked out another person a bit further behind them. This was probably a lookout that was there to signal if any other people came from the other side.

“Oh no, I know, here take a look at this…”

While just standing there Roland reached towards his belt where he had a satchel. This of course didn’t go unnoticed by one of the bandits that let loose his arrow. The man’s clearly fumbled out of stress as the other bandits seemed somewhat maddened by the attack.

The arrow flew right towards Roland’s head but he did not do anything to evade it. Instead, he continued to dig in his satchel for the item that he wanted to show to the bandits. At the same time as he found it the arrow collided with the magical barrier that was around his suit of armor.

The arrowhead bounced right off while the shaft bent out of shape before breaking into many wooden pieces. The realization of the magical shield made the bandits flinch but before the battle could continue Roland held out a large piece of gold.

“Wait, that is?”

“Yes, it is, will you let me pass now?”

This large oval coin had a special meaning. On it was the sign of the thieves guild and it was proof that he was part of the black market merchants. Most of the time it would be enough for the thieves to let him go.

Killing and robbing black market merchants was frowned upon by the guild as they produced a lot of gold. Without the merchants there the thieves would not have any means of selling their wares. It would make their lives a lot harder on both ends if the merchants ceased to exist so it was counteractive to hurt them.

“Boss, he is with the merchants, what do we do?”

“What do we do? Nothing, look at that armor, look at that strange golem, we can ditch this city!”

“Yeah, that guy must be rich!”

‘It’s going to be like this huh…”

Roland gave out a sigh before hiding the black merchant token back into his satchel. Sometimes people like this existed that didn’t see that big picture. They would rather risk it all for a quick profit.

“Agni, you know what to do.”

As the talks broke down the fight started. The large wolf that was behind the man in the shiny armor tossed itself at the enemy closest to it. The dungeon area was quickly filled with various sounds of explosions and people screaming for mercy…


“We will be there shortly, my lord.”


A certain glamorous carriage with an emblem of a standing stag with a crown on its head slowly made its way towards a certain city. Around this carriage, there were quite a few armored knights in shiny armor. The sound of the hooves echoed through the whole area and made everyone that was close by to the large force that was coming this way.

The person inside of the carriage was holding a locket with a certain picture. After glancing at it he clutched it in his hand strongly.

“I will come back, just wait for me… this is just a small setback.”

Soon he placed the locket back around his neck and hid it under his clothes. The moon shone brightly in the night sky which caused him to look at it.

“What was the name of this city… Albrook?”

A note from Kuropon


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