Before you read this, I advise you go back and re-read all the previous chapters. I've changed all of them, and most are entirely new with little recycled content. The poll was changed as well, so you can vote when you reach it.
Lots of things have changed since I last posted a new chapter. The 1st book has sold more than 1000 e-book copies, and the kindle unlimited as had an addition 2000 readers. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you who helped me and bought a copy. I got to show everyone who thought I'd have trouble in life that I have a skill. Well, that's not quite true, but close enough I guess.
Anyway, thanks a lot guys. Means a lot. Now, more important things:
1. Vinzzz001and Zonogaming have been HUGE helps to me. Zono is drawing up the continent map and unique floor maps, and vin has been a absolute boss at helping me come up with the slime chart AS WELL AS THE OTHER MONSTER EVOLUTION CHARTS. Oh, was that a spoiler? I wonder, ho ho ho ho. He has also gone through all the slime idea posts and helped to add the ones that make sense, so kudos to him for being efficient.
2. I recently did a lot of professional maitanece; starting an amazon author page, blog, and facebook page. I even joined the litrpg group on facebook- a good place to find new stories and hang out with other authors.
3. Form the group, I found about a new contest regarding an exciting video game book contest. Winner gets published and advertized heavily. So,of course I'm going to join with HERO OF NAUGHT! Naturally, I haven;t worked on that particular project for a time because 1. slime dungeon more important since published, and 2. I messed up in the pacing. Naturally, I figured out what I did wrong and once book 2 TSD is done I'm rewriting, again, and sending if off for the publish. I'll give you guys more info on that later. :p
So, without further ado, here is the new chapter to book 2!
That evening, as the beast-men went to bed, Mary walked out of office down the stairs to the ground floor. Ally, Bella, and Claire all greeted her with a curtsey.
“Good evening guild-master.” They said together.
“Good evening girls,” She gave them a small smile, “Was the day eventful?”
Bella took a step forward, “The beast-men arrived and explored the dungeon. I have the copy of their report for you to read later. Since you were meditating al day, I put off the meeting with them until tomorrow.”
Mary turned thoughtful as she processed the news, “What kind of beast-men were they?”
“Bear, mistress; all three of the bear clan.” Bella answered.
Mary nodded and snorted, “As if we needed more hairy men in this city. Ah well, it least it will be more lively now.”
The three receptionists smiled and nodded their heads in agreement.
Mary turned to Claire, “Is the meeting with the church still today?”
Claire nodded, “Yes, they will likely be ready for you in a short while. Shall I call for an escort to their quarter?”
Mary shook her head, “I’ll on my own this time Claire, but thank you for your concern. Watch the guild while I am away.” She directed to all three of them.
They all nodded their heads, and Mary left.
Mary was the opposite of excited as she made her way into the faith quarter. Unlike the rest of Dungeon Town, faith quarter was relatively orderly and clean. Even with the massive construction going on, the church had gone to great lengths to fix up the road and landscape to make many shrines and pavilions for decoration. There were neither inns here nor taverns; instead great temples dedicated to the various deities of the faith. Due to the nature of the country, the church was actually made up by a collection of individual faiths. The City of Duran primarily worshiped Duras, God of the Plains, and naturally the ruling sect in the area was the Duras faith.
Mary made her way past the other temples to the main Duras temple located at the middle of the quarter. She made her way up the stone stairs into the temple. There, a large statue of a man holding a fan in a dance-like motion loomed over the room.
A priest walked over to her, "Good day Guild Master, the Father has been expecting you."
Mary sighed, "Of course he has. Lead on then."
The priest respectfully bowed and guided her through the church corridors to a large, ornate door. He bowed and walked away from her, his job complete.
Mary cracked her neck a few times before knocking on the door.
"Enter." A voice came from within.
Mary pushed the door open and walked into the room. Inside, she found a smaller statue of Duras directly in front of her, with a large desk and two chairs to her right. A man was kneeling in front of the statue, his arms clasped together in prayer.
"Guild Master, it is good to see you in person. I was hoping you'd be by so we could meet face to face." The man spoke from his kneeling position.
Mary inclined her head, "I was indisposed due to recent circumstances, but I have since finished my meditation. I apologize for the wait."
"No need for apologies. Meditation is very important; especially since losing a trusted friend can be a harsh blow to one's spirit. Have you tried prayer to assist you with your meditation?" There was no hint of mockery in his voice, yet Mary couldn't help but twitch at them.
"Trying to convert me father? I apologize, but other men have tried before." She frowned at him.
The man got up and turned around. His long, white hair framed his face as a small smile danced on his lips. Pale blue eyes stared at her over a rounded nose and freckles, "My dear, I meant no offence. It is merely an old habit of mine you see. Come; sit with me at my desk."
The father led her over to the oak desk and took a seat. "Now, if I may introduce myself, I am Father Jonas. I am a brother of Father Tobias."
Mary's eyes betrayed a hint of surprise before it vanished under her calm demeanor, "Forgive me Father, but I was under the impression that someone else would be in charge here."
Father Jonas chuckled and stroked his white beard, "I understand the confusion, merely, this is how things are my dear. I apologize if I have betrayed your expectations."
Mary snorted, "Someone who is brother to the legendary Father Tobias the Just could never be a disappointment. Tell me, what is your name within the fatherhood?"
Father Jonas merely smiled at her, "Now, I trust you didn't come all this way for the sake of a mere greeting. I also doubt you believe I wanted to merely extend my greetings to you as well. Shall we get down to business, Guild Master?"
Mary crossed her legs and folded her hands on her lap, “Indeed; I must say I admire a man who gets down to business so quickly.”
“You flatter me my dear.” Jonas gave her a warm smile as he too crossed his hands, “Now, I have come here under the express order of the church to investigate the dungeon and all connections to demonic influence.”
Mary nodded, “I assumed as much. To be honest, I thought you would arrive after construction finished; even now I see signs this temple is far from complete.”
Father Jonas nodded as they both glances at the unfinished wall behind the statue, “Yes, that was the original plan. However, some things have come to light that have expedited our plans.”
Mary raised her eyebrow, “Oh, what have you learned?”
Jonas pulled out a sheet of paper from his desk drawer, “In our raids in the other cites, we were fortunate to apprehend a local leader and read his memories before he expired. From him, we learned that this town was the last known destination of the leaders of the demonic conspiracy.”
Mary’s façade betrayed no indication of emotion, “In other words, this town has become the focus of the entire church clergy in Nehatra.”
“Quite so my dear. This is why I was sent so quickly, to determine if the masterminds are still here, or the location of their next destination. With my abilities, I am able to see threw any illusion that may have been cast to hide their footsteps.”
Mary pondered for a bit, “I can send you the reports on missing people if that will assist you.”
“I thank you.” Jonas bowed his head.
Mary began to roll her fingers as she considered his words, “How is your stance on the dungeon?”
“It is important to the investigation, but not the focus at the moment. My dear, I will tell you if that ever changes.”
“Is there anything else then?”
Father Jonas shook his head, “At the moment, no. Should you need me in the future, you merely need to send word through one of my acolytes or priests. I will endeavor to make myself available to you. If there is nothing else, I must return to my duties."
Mary's eyes narrowed at the dismissal, but she bowed and walked out the door with her head held high. As she reached the door, Father Jonas called out, "My title with the clergy is 'The Pure'." Mary paused for a moment, than closed the door behind her without turning around. Father Jonas watched the door for a few minutes, his mind in thought. He reached out and rang a bell on his desk.
A hidden panel in the hall opened and the same priest that led Mary walked into the room.
"Tell me Horace, what did you make of that?" Father Jonas asked softly.
Priest Horace inclined his head, "She is cautious around us, but she is not hiding anything. Likely, she will assist us with whatever we need as long as we don’t endanger the town and it’s way of life."
Father Jonas nodded, "Indeed, exactly what I thought. Tobias desires the dungeon's destruction, yet I have an interest in it for now as part of the investigation. With the recent changes, who knows if there might be a hint of demonic influence within just waiting to be found." Father Jonas tilted his head and nodded, getting up gracefully.
"Brother Horace, go and prepare the temple knights for an expedition into the dungeon. Let us see if we can see with our own eyes this dungeon."
Horace nodded, "Will we be informing the guild of our dive?"
Father Jonas smiled at the priest.
"No need. After all, they will know as soon as we take a step in the dungeon’s direction."
The next morning, Jare left William and Anhel in the iron district to explore some more as he made his way to the guild. He had received a letter to meet with the guild-master, so he was going all by himself. As he walked into the guild hall, he gave a bow to Bella, who was waiting for him.
“Good morning sir Jare; the mistress is ready to meet with you in her office up the stairs. Nodding, the beast-man walked behind the counter and up the stairs to Mary's office on the second floor. He knocked confidently on her door and strolled in.
Mary was waiting patiently with her hands crossed on her desk as Jare walked in. “Greetings sir Jare, welcome to my office, and to this Dungeon Town.” She greeted him. She got up and shook his hand before the two sat down across from each other.
Jare nodded his greeting, "I am glad to be here guild-master."
Mary shook her head, “Please, call me Mary. It is a lot simpler to remember for me, as I just recently became the guild-master.”
Jare scratched his head, “Okay, but isn’t that kind of familiar? I know you by reputation, Mary, and you are very much my superior in rank and strength.”
Mary scoffed and laughed, "Oh, those days are far behind me now; no need to dwell on the past here. How did you enjoy your first day here and in the dungeon?"
“It was an interesting experience. The floors were not difficult except for the sixth floor, where the boss seemed to match us in strength.” Jare confessed.
“Yes, I read your report.” Mary picked up a piece of paper and looked down at it, “The boss had 3 forms, where previously if was reported to have 1 or 2 depending on the group’s average strength. I admire your insight and agree with your opinion that the second boss can match strength with its opponents.”
Whatever Mary was going to say next was interrupted by Ally hurrying into the room. Mary and Jare both turned to look at the winded, young receptionist with curious expressions.
"Guild-master, I'm sorry, but there is a problem!" Ally managed to spit out in between breaths.
"Go on.' Mary said.
Ally took a breath to calm herself, "The church has made their move. They sent two knight and priest expeditions into the dungeon only a few minutes ago."
Mary frowned in annoyance, "Leave me. I'll deal with this." The receptionist bowed and ran out of the room. When she was gone, Mary sighed and began drumming her fingers on the table.
"While annoying, there is really nothing I can do about this. I wonder why they made a move so soon though. Their home isn’t finished yet and two squads hold badly needed manpower." Mary pondered out loud.
"Maybe they have more than a single goal in this." Jare offered, "I doubt any of them have been in the dungeon since it changed, so they will have to go down floor by floor. Since the teleporting glyphs limit a group to the lowest floor a member has been through, they are likely trying to get as many people down as possible for future dives. Or, perhaps this is just a large scouting mission to get as far as possible."
Mary hesitated before nodding her head, "Your thoughts make sense. We have kept a close eye on those who enter the dungeon and no church related diver has gone in recently. Still, it is slightly rude to not inform us before making such a large move in our territory. I wonder what goes through that Father Jonas’s mind."
Jare frowned, "Father Jonas the Pure?" He asked cautiously.
Mary nodded her head, "Indeed, do you know him?"
Jare folded his arms across his chest and let out a slow breath, "Only by reputation. To be fair, he is one of the fairest church officials in this part of the country. On the other hand, however, he is very biased against other races, monsters in particular. If he wasn't so biased, he would likely be known as "Just" instead of "Pure". A few beast-men have suffered false crimes under his ruling, though nothing too major. He is also known as an opportunist for the clergy, which is likely why he was sent here instead of one of Father Tobias's one track mind priests."
Mary grimaced, "That all but confirms it; he is looking to make a power play for the church. It's such a pain to have to deal with these types; why couldn't they have sent a "Kind-hearted" or "Generous"?" She complained.
Jare rolled his eyes, "Forgive me Guild-Master, but that is very unlikely. Anyone who earned those names are likely so kind and naive they would be used by those opportunistic types for recruitment and public appeal. Believe me, there are some wonderful members of the clergy out in the world, but not everything can be accomplished by being kind."
Mary sighed, "I suppose that is true. Being ruthless is a necessary trait to survive after all. Still, I wish some of my old comrades were here instead."
"You had priests in your adventuring party?" Jare asked curiously.
Mary smiled as the memories moved past her eyes, "A long time ago. I believe she is now a Holy Mother in one of the far off capitals now. I really hope she is doing well."
Jare waited a moment, allowing her to reminisce a moment longer. “I’m sorry to disturb you, but this means my brothers and I must make haste into the dungeon so the church does not beat us to the bottom floor.”
Mary shook her head free of her memories, “Alright. Keep me informed of anything unusual down there, and good luck.”
They shook hands, and Jare left her office.