Doc scratched his body with a tentacle, "Claire, what do I do now?"
The little pixie flew down and landed in front of the puppies. Focusing her magic, her form grew to their size and she gently pat their heads with her hands. The puppies flinched at her tough, but eventually relaxed as they sensed her motherly intentions. With a whine, they dug their heads into her body in an attempt to seek as much comfort as possible.
"Didn't you say wolves bothered you?"
Claire shook her head, "These are worgs; they are not wolves or wargs. Also, these are babies and are so cute!" She hugged the puppies to her and gave a girlish squeal as their soft fur tickled her nose. "Worgs are wolves that evolved into monsters. They gained intelligence and nobility in their actions, unlike wolves who sometimes toy with their prey. Wargs are monsters that resemble wolves and worgs, but are completely demonic in origin and related to hell hounds and other creatures like them. I only told you worgs were slightly demonic because that's how the church views them."
The two had lived together long enough that Claire knew to answer his questions before he asked. Doc shrugged, "Good to know. Again, what we do with them?"
Claire raised her eyebrow at him, "You're the one who decided to adopt them into your dungeon; don't tell me you didn't carefully consider what was going to happen."
"I prefer your giggling personality."
"I prefer not having headaches that prevent me from giggling,” She shot back, "But we have to make the best with what we." She sighed and rubbed the heads of the puppies, "Well, at the very least this is a good opportunity to teach you about the other way of improving your dungeon: Monster Adoption."
Claire waved her finger as a blue screen appeared on the wall. It flowed with images that seemed to have been painted by a young child.
"Your skill with art is amazing as usual."
"No need to be rude Doc."
"What are you talking about? That's the best art I've seen." Doc said honestly.
"It’s the only art you've ever seen." Claire muttered, but blushed all the same as she began her presentation.
She brought up a picture of two slimes, "As I've told you before, there are two types of monster in the world; natural and dungeon-born. Dungeon born monsters are created within a dungeon and are not truly alive, while natural monsters are born in the outside world and are alive." She switched the picture to one of the wolves with an arrow pointing from it to a hole, "Now, sometimes natural monsters will go to a dungeon. Reasons aside, the monster will often do one of two things; conquer the dungeon or join up with the dungeon. A powerful enough monster will devour any dungeon heart they come across to increase their own power, which is why many dungeons try to have good relations with adventurers. The adventurers detour most monsters from attempting this."
"Now,” She pointed at the picture, "When a monster decides to join a dungeon, it will offer up its monster heart. The heart will then dissolve into magic power that the dungeon heart absorbs. The monster then would normally die, but is instead filled with the dungeon's mana, transforming it into a dungeon monster with a soul. Most boss type monsters besides the dungeon boss are of this sub-type."
"So these two can become bosses?" Doc asked excitedly.
Claire frowned, "Normally yes, but you accepted their mother's bargain. She offered her own heart for their protection, and her body was too weak to become a dungeon monster. Basically, you took her heart as payment to be their guardian. Anything else is between you and the cubs."
"Okay, I can live with that." Doc said after some thought, "I don't believe in children killing anyway."
Claire nodded, "I thought as much, especially with you adversity toward the other matter. Anyway, the only thing we can do now is wait till they can speak and negotiate with them."
"We . . . can speak." The two heard a new voice in their conversation. Surprised, the two looked down at the two puppies, who were trying to sit as calmly as possible. Legs shaking, they locked eyes onto Claire and spoke slowly, but with purpose.
"We . . . are young, but . . . we learned from our . . . mother." The two spoke together in unison, "We hid . . . this because we wanted . . . to see what kind . . . you were."
Claire stared at them, her hands twitching as she controlled her cuteness reflex, "You wanted to see what kind of dungeon Doc was before you spoke?"
They nodded, " Our . . . pack knew the dungeon . . . Doc was strange from . . . listening to humans. We were . . . on our way here when humans . . . attack."
"Did you provoke them?" Claire asked gently.
The growled and snarled, "No! Stupid humans, we hate them! We no attack them! But," They hesitated and calmed down quickly, "We smelled another leading the humans . . . it smelled not human . . . like brimstone. It told . . . humans to attack . . . us."
Claire frowned as this, "In other words, the humans were led to believe your pack was a danger and attacked. This sounds like something a demon would do, and only demon-kin smell of brimstone."
"So all demons are bad?" Doc asked curiously.
"Demons by nature are selfish and self-serving, but not all are like that." Claire explained, "The word "demon" actually refers to a great many monster types with an infernal origin, in other words from an alternate dimension opposite that of the divine realms. There is actually a demon sentient race that is tolerated by the others, and they are not evil. However, most of the monsters are and love to spread chaos. The imp race is an example, one that you could have chosen as a starter race."
Doc nodded, and turned to the cubs, "Where did your pack hear of me; and why did they come when they heard I was strange?"
The cubs nodded, "Our pack understands human and elf and other races. We . . . know of strange dungeons by . . . tales of elves. Our pack . . . hunted everywhere and . . . needed home. Come . . . here for home. But," the cubs began to cry again, "Pack gone, no more pack. Momma, Momma gone!" Their wails filled the cavern and wrung the hearts of Claire and Doc in sympathy.
Claire flung herself into the cubs and hugged their crying faces into her bosom. "It's alright little one, it will be okay." She cried out with tears in her own eyes, "I'll be your new mother and Doc will be your father."
"Momma!" The puppies cried out as they dug themselves into her warm affection.
Doc, once again, was thrown in intense confusion. "Err, what? Claire, I don’t think this is going to work." Doc protested.
"Poppa?" The cubs turned to him with their wide, red, tearful eyes.
“. . . Poppa is here." Doc never had a chance against them.
After a massive slime hug, the four grouped together as Claire straightened her dress. "Now, all we have to do is finalize the formal agreement to our mutual satisfaction." Seeing the faces of the other three made her giggle, "I mean we have to make the cub’s dungeon monsters and see what demands they have."
The cubs shared a look before facing Claire and Doc, "Can you remake . . . pack?"
Claire shook her head sadly, "No, dungeons can only make monsters in the evolutionary tree of their starter monster. Even if we could, they wouldn't be the same pack you remember."
The cubs nodded, sad but understanding, "We . . . understand. Momma joined with . . . you, so you are . . . also momma. We want . . . to fight humans and . . . we want to be part . . . of pack."
Claire nodded, "We can try to get some mimic slimes to copy you once they evolve . . .”
"Not new . . . pack; your pack."
Claire paused, and then smiled at the little cubs. "We would be honored to accept you two into our family. I promise that we'll take good care of you two in place of your mother." The puppies smiled and bowed their heads.
"We bind ourselves to you dungeon lord."
With that, the puppies were outlined in white light and blocked from Claire and Doc's view. Out of the light, two orbs floated out and dissolved into many small lights that moved into the wall where Doc's heart was. As before, Doc felt is powers grow as the lights entered him.
The light dimmed down to reveal a surprising sight, two human girls.
"Claire, our children have been kidnapped!" Doc cried out in alarm. He was slow to understand, but he was very dedicated to jumping on the bandwagon.
Claire was obviously startled, but she put a comforting hand on him, "Um, Doc, I think those are our children."
The two human girls uncurled to reveal some very nonhuman traits. Their ears were on top of their heads and furry, and their faces were elongated. Their bodies were covered in fur and their hands were padded. On their packs, a tail swished from side to side as the two smiled.
"Thank-you for accepting us mother Claire and father Doc." The two announced together with a happy smile.
"Claire, please explain."
Claire twiddled her finger, "Um, well, I'm not positive about this, but I think they evolved from the experience. Worgs evolved from wolves, and I guess beast-kin are . . ."
"What are beast-kin?"
One of the puppies spoke up, "Father, beast-kin are one of the sentient races and are descended from great beasts, magically changed humans, and cursed beings. They look like hybrids of animals and people put together; however we are not beast-kin." To demonstrate, the girl morphed into a large worg and gave them a toothy grin. He sister rubbed her ears and continued.
"The dungeon did provide us the energy to evolve, but sentient races cannot bond to a dungeon. As a result, we took on the properties of your race, slime, and inherited the ability to change our form. Also, we absorbed enough knowledge to become adults." She fidgeted awkwardly and said, "We also know that you're male, so . . ."
"How wonderful!" Claire said loudly, "Can you become pixie size?"
The two paused, and then shrunk into small, furry winged pixies. Doc couldn't hold back his chuckles as turned into a puddle as he laughed. Claire, on the other hand, was so excited she shrunk down and tackled the two into a hug.
"I have babies! So cute; I love you both already!" She cried out and flew them into her doorway, "Firstly though, we need some ground rules." They disappeared into the house as the door slammed, leaving behind an amused Doc.
"At least she's into it." He chuckled to himself.
In the end, the two new worgs were assigned as the new floor 1 boss. Thanks to the power boost Doc got from their mother and their own hearts, he was able to add another room to the first floor specifically for them. He also was able to add a stairway and move his heart room down to the third floor. The overslime stayed on the second floor with the plant room, and Doc hid the stairwell behind a small wall. He couldn't actively separate his heart from the rest of the dungeon, but hiding it worked. The two worg girls happily settled down as part of the "pack" and eagerly awaited the chance to battle adventurers. They were restricted to their worg form when adventurers were in the dungeon, but its fine since that was the form they were most familiar with.
Back at the camp, a shadowy figure stalked among the shadow and entered a tent. Closing the flap behind it, the form of Simon the sheepherder reached down and pulled a hidden bag of silver out from behind the cot. Smiling, Simon left his tent and walked into a guard. The guard turned and smiled at him.
"Hey Simon, good to see you up and about again," He said happily, “Lucky we were able to save you from that worg."
Simon chuckled, "Thanks again for your help. I was wondering, where is the cheapest place to get a magic sword?"
The guard frowned at him, "You want to go dungeon diving? I advise against that Simon, it's dangerous; especially to someone unfamiliar with combat."
Simon waved away the guard's concerns, "Being helpless showed me how weak I am. I don't want to stay a weakling forever; I want to be a strong man for my family."
Moved, the guard smiled and handed Simon a note, "I understand completely young man. Here, take this note to the smithy down the road. The man owes me a favor, and I think he can help you with getting a sword. You'll have to mine the copper yourself most likely however."
Simon smiled as he pocketed the note, "I'll be happy to do whatever it takes to grow stronger." His eyes glowed red for a moment in the torchlight, "Anything at all."