Doc used a slime tentacle to rub his crystal body thoroughly in thought as he considered the issue of the new floors.
“I need a new boss for this set of floors; any ideas my dungeon family?” Doc questioned.
Everyone seemed to think for a moment, but had nothing.
Rowen raised his head, “Sir Doc, why not have the new floors after your wargs instead of before?”
“Because . . . uh, I just wanted to make the girls the final boss,” Doc admitted to everyone.
The twins giggled at him, “Poppa, you may be silly but we love you. We like being the 25th floor boss; it’s like a badge of honor to have our spot here. Go ahead and move the floors down Poppa.”
“Thank-you girls; well that still leaves the problem on what boss to have next for the 30th floor.”
“Well,” Claire spoke up, “Why not use one of your new slimes? In fact, why don’t you call them up so we can see them?” Claire clapped her hands in excitement as her eyes glowed. She liked slime evolutions as much as Doc did.
“Received and accepted, all hands prepare for slime!” Doc announced as he focused his power into the new things he had absorbed. In the heart room, new slimes bubbled up from the floor and Doc read their general descriptions out-loud from the blue screen.
“These are the first level slimes of the new evolutions lines,” Doc narrated, “The light slime here is resistant to light magic and the dark slime is resistant to dark magic, exactly like their elemental counterparts. They each have three evolutions also.”
Continuing, Doc said, “For the light slime, there are flash slimes, luminous slimes, and image slimes. The flash slime act like firestorm slimes by absorbing light until they release to blind opponents. Since slimes don’t rely on eyesight, this attack is meant only to blind prey for other slimes to take advantage of and attack. However, the light can harm you girls, Claire, and Rowen, so be careful. The luminous slimes are slimes that wield light as a corporeal weapon. These slimes manipulate light into covering their bodies, creating both armor of their slime and sheathing their tentacles for attacks. The last slime is the image slime. This slime controls light by creating mirages. While the mirages aren’t very strong, they are enough to cause confusion during battles.”
“Doc, I need some luminous slimes to replace the torches in my house. Please may I have some?” Claire asked him.
After agreeing to spawn some for her, Doc continued with the three dark slime evolutions.
“From what I can see here, dark slimes have three second-tier evolutions: the shadow slime, the darkness slime, and the light-eater slime. The shadow slime can hide its body in shadows and unleash attacks from them. However, they hold no power in direct light or complete darkness, just like the twins. The floors of complete darkness will render them as weak as a normal slime unless adventurers bring torches with them.”
Doc paused to consider the thought, “Well, that’s a good idea. Make their downfall because of their greatest weapon.”
Moving on, he resumed reading, “The darkness slimes are the opposite of the luminous slimes; they clad themselves in a tangible darkness rather than light. This darkness creates armor and improves their tentacle attacks. Light-eater slimes devour light and reduce the effectiveness of any light source near them. From what I understand, they did not work well with their brethren shadow slimes.”
While he had been speaking, Doc had noticed an odd rivalry within his two slime groups. When they formed on his floor, the luminous and darkness slimes began to fight, the flash slimes and light-eater slimes began to quarrel, and the image and shadow slimes circled each other.
“I think these two slime groups evolved so differently that they are natural rivals, even in your dungeon,” Claire guessed, “It maybe doesn’t help that the two cores you ate to unlock them were bitter rivals as well. Are you going to make the new floors light based?”
Doc shook his slime body, “No, I think I’ll wait on improving the dungeon first. I need to learn more about them before I commit them to anything. For now, I’ll let the normal light slime and dark slime roam around the top 20 floors so adventurers get used to them.”
“Actually,” Doc pointed out, “where are my new third level slimes?”
Claire shook her head at him, “Oh Doc, I’m sorry to say but from the third level on, you won’t be able to force your slimes to evolve unless it’s into a new boss.”
“WHAT?” Doc’s disappointment echoed around the room.
Claire rubbed her ears pointedly, “Too loud Doc; anyway, the third-tier of monster in any dungeon requires your monsters to unlock their new evolutions by their own actions. Your creations will have the final decision on what they become from now on.”
“But, my slimes don’t think for themselves,” Doc whined.
Claire smiled sadly, “Why do you think slimes aren’t popular dungeon monsters? They can only evolve after the second level by chance eating what they need. I doubt we’ll see one for . . .”
“Poppa, we have a new slime for you to see,” the twins announced.
Claire and Doc turned to watch the two wargs leading a pair of new slimes into the heart room. They stared a lot. They stared so much the twins began to become uncomfortable.
“Is that . . . hair?” Doc asked Claire for confirmation.
“Definitely hair,” Claire agreed, “What in the world is that slime?”
Before them stood two brown, hair covered slimes. One of the slimes even had two warg ears on its top and the other had a warg tail. The slimes jiggled, but the way their fur moved made everyone feel a little nauseous.
“Fur shouldn’t move like that,” Rowen complained, retching in the corner. The twins joined him a moment later in their hooded forms. Claire soon followed.
“They seem just fine to me,” Anadine spoke up, her form matching the jiggle.
Claire wiped mouth with a leaf, “Right, slimes don’t have bones so they are just moving normally. The fur must makes us think of a normal creature that . . .blegh.”
“I didn’t even know I could be nauseas,” Doc muttered,” Alright, I stopping them from moving.” He read their description aloud to the recovering group members.
The new slimes here were aptly named furry slimes. They were the first third-tier monsters in Doc’s dungeon, and were an evolved form of his mimic slimes. Apparently, they evolved because the twins shed an excess amount of fur. Furry slimes could have ears, a tail, both, or neither depending on luck. Because of their fur, furry slimes could no longer digest outside material like their fellow slimes. Instead, they had evolved a mouth to eat like a normal creature. However, the mouth was normally hidden, and the teeth were not normal size. In fact, the mouth opening was quite terrifying.
Claire gave a slow whistle of appreciation as she measured the mouth. “For a slime that barely meets a man’s knee, it has a huge mouth! I’m measuring knee height here, as in the mouth is as large as the slime’s entire body. The teeth can even change shape because they are made of hardened slime.” She pointed at the teeth that ranged from tiny points to dagger length terrors.
“Right, these things are not appearing before the twin’s boss fight,” Doc declared, “Otherwise we’ll scare everyone away.”
Everyone agreed with him; these slimes were terrifying monsters.
“Well, we got lucky with this evolution,” Claire continued, “But you shouldn’t get your hopes up . . .”
“My lord, I found another new slime,” Anadine reported. Claire just slapped her hand on her face and sighed.
Anadine brought the new slime up for Doc to look at. It was pink. It was pink, pink. The heal slime was pink too, but it was a light pink and the core was visible. This slime was just pink; a pure, solid pink.
“According to this, this slime is a pink slime,” Doc announced.
“Wonder why Poppa.”
“Big mystery milord.”
“Boggles the mind sir.”
“Alright already, enough,” Claire waved away her children, fighting her own giggles, “What kind of power does this (giggle) pink slime have Doc?”
“It’s a healing slime; but it’s meant for beings beyond slimes. These pink slimes have lost the ability to digest everything but dirt and are drawn to heal injuries. Claire, why would a slime evolve so weirdly?” Doc asked her.
“Maybe I can help,” Rowen spoke up, “You see . . .”
Rowen stared down at the angry pixie holding a dagger to his throat.
“I explain things around here.” Claire said in a happy tone, but her face, which was hidden From Doc, sent chills down Rowen’s spine, “Got it sweetie?”
“Yes ma’am,” he squeaked.
“Call me mother.”
The dagger disappeared when Claire turned around with a pleasant face, “Everything in the land has evolved in order to survive Doc. That’s how living things acquire new traits over generations. Slimes are no different. This breed of slime first evolved the ability to heal to prevent it from getting eaten in the wild by other slimes. Likely, it was only due to your actions during the invasion of the undead dungeon they had a chance to heal other living things. Of course, this species slime would never evolve out in the wild because it would never get a chance to try to heal other things before getting killed. Your dungeon afforded this opportunity.”
“Was that a dagger?”
“What are you talking about?”
Doc changed the subject, “Anyway, are there any other new slimes?”
Rowen pointed down, “Well sir, how about the slimes I seemed to have brought into being.”
“Right, let’s check them out.”
Doc examined the two strange new slimes. The blood slime was, well, made of blood. Literally, instead of slime its core was surrounded by blood. The dark red color was when the blood came into contact with the air and the light color was the pure blood before air contact. From what he understood, the blood slime’s only ability beyond that of a normal slime was a minor control over blood. Not only could it sense blood, it craved it. In the wild, blood slimes would swarm any indication of a wounded being. The more blood a blood slime absorbed, the bigger it got.
The bone slime actually worked similarly to the rock slime. Unlike the rock slime, however, the bone slime picked up bones instead of stone and used it to surround a smaller protective slime layer around its core. The bones not only worked as a shield, but they could also be launched as weapons. Differently from the blood slime was that there was a limit to the amount of bone that could be picked up.
“So to summarize, the new slimes are: bone slime, blood slime, dark slime and company, light slime and company, furry slime, and pink slime; anything else?” Claire asked.
When no one responded, Claire continued, “Good. Now Doc, do you have any plans for the five new floors yet from these choices?”
Doc mumbled to himself for a minute, “Well, after considering my options, I’ve decided to place the dark slimes and the furry slimes on the dark floors. They make too much sense otherwise. The pink slimes will be placed before and after every boss room as a gesture of good will. The bone and blood slimes will be going to floors 11-15 with the other grey family slimes. Finally, I guess the light slimes will have the new floors to themselves. This means I have to make a light slime boss to go with them.”
Doc pointed at the luminous slime, “I’m going with that one since it seems to be the only real attacker in the bunch.”
When he got everyone’s approval, for his confidence rather than permission, Doc focused all his energy into the luminous slime on the floor. As he felt his consciousness and magic enter the slime, it wiggled and jiggled and evolved before everyone’s eyes. When it finished growing, the slime now stood as high as a grown man’s chest. When Doc prompted it to attack, the slime began to absorb light. After a few moments, it released the light in a straight flash that burned a hole in the wall.
Everyone gawked at the burned hole. Doc winced as he tried to repair the damage; it felt like someone had tried to cut him open with a hot knife.
“It’s a beam slime,” Claire exclaimed, her eyes shocked, “These slimes can concentrate light into a focused blast, which burns through things. It works like water magic; the smaller the blast with the same magical force, the stronger the water. Beam slimes shouldn’t be able to unleash a blast that strong though.”
“For its first attack, I gave it too much power,” Doc reported, “I wanted to see how strong it could get. Being able to hurt me is way too much power for any slime to have. Also, it requires light to absorb to release the, what is it called, beams? So long as adventurers have light resistant armor they should be mostly okay from a direct hit.”
Claire visibly calmed, “Alright, that’s good then. So Doc, want to talk about the new upgrades?”
“Yeah, can you explain to me what exactly the environments upgrade gave me access to? I don’t quite understand what it does.” Doc asked her politely.
“Well,” Claire made a cute pose on top of his slime body, “Environments unlock new things for you to play with in your dungeon. As you’ve seen, it’s an important part of any change revolving around the looks and feel of the dungeon. The first upgrade doesn’t do too much, which is why it was so cheap, but it does allow you a little more leeway with floor design. For instance, right now you have two types of floors: the unique boss floors where only one team of adventurers can exist in any one instance and the filler floors that change shape but hold any number of adventurer teams. The dark floors have their hidden connections to the others of its type, but those can’t be found normally. By itself, the first tier of Environments will allow you to create both floor holes and ascending ladders between the floors. These are random and change every day, allowing adventurers to accidently or deliberately skip floors or retreat from them. When you gain enough power to disable the adventurer escape charms, these will become very necessary for adventurers. Since you have both the teleporting glyph upgrade and the trap knowledge upgrade to level 2, you also have unlocked teleportation traps. These floor glyphs can transport unwilling adventurers into traps, a trap room, a boss floor, the exit, or anywhere else you decide when you create them.”
“That’s a lot of information to process,” Doc complained.
Claire rubbed his body affectionately, “I know, but you’ll manage it. You always do Docky.”
“That’s a weird name.”
Claire giggled as she flew over to Rowen and sat on his shoulder, “Now, while Doc is busy improving your dungeon, let’s talk about you my newest son.”
Rowen frowned, “Isn’t this strange though. I’m a human and you are a fairy.”
Claire whacked him on the head, “I’m a dungeon pixie firstly you dummy, and secondly I will be your new mother just like I am to Aisha and Ayla. You’ve accepted them as sisters right? So now, I’ll take care of you too.”
Rowen teared up slightly before rubbing his eyes, “Fine, but I won’t thank you. I don’t need another mother.”
“It’s fine to honor your original family so long as you don’t forsake your current one. My goal is to get you acknowledge me one day. Anyway, it’s time we go over your role in all this.” Claire gestured to the dungeon all around them.
“I’m listening ma’am, I mean mother,” Rowen quickly corrected himself.
“Good,” Claire tapped him on the nose, “Now, you are the first of your race, which I plan on call necromancer, but beyond the core you are basically human. Now that your core is safe with Doc, there are very few who can sniff you out for what you really are. We are going to use this to our advantage.”
She pointed up into the ceiling, “Now, in order for you to be the most help to us, you’ll need to learn how to be useful with your powers. We,” she pointed to the other dungeon beings, “have no idea how to use necromancy, nor the methods in which humans employ to cast magic. It’s for your best interest, then, to leave the dungeon and join the adventurer guild as an adventurer.”
Everyone stared in shock at Claire; even Doc paused his mad changing of the dungeon to look over at her.
“Is that really safe?” Rowen asked with concern.
Claire giggled at him, “Silly, it’s not like you are going to be alone. We’ll be in your head the whole time, and if you die then you’ll just reform back here no worse for wear. This is a wonderful opportunity to actually experience what we protected from . . . well, your father while he was crazy. You do remember how to interact with other humans right?”
Rowen gave a small grin, “I am a royal prince I’ll have you know. I was taught how to speak with everyone from servants to ambassadors. Um, is Neohart still the dominant country of the south?”
While Claire and Rowen began to discuss their plans and history, Doc looked over to Anadine, who had been waiting patiently.
“Anadine, the time has come for you to reveal yourself to the dungeon adventurers.”
Anadine swelled in pride, “I look forward to bearing all I have to those adventurers who seek to fight you milord! They will tremble at my bare strength!”
The twins sniggered, “If you really bare all, I think they’ll do more then tremble.”
Doc and Anadine shared a confused look, “Will they faint in fear of my assets?” Anadine formed a variety of weapons with her tentacles.
“They likely will.”
“Will they flee from my tentacle attacks?”
“Most definitely they will, though some will throw themselves at you for it.”
“Will they plead for mercy while I whip them?”
“Some won’t; they’ll beg you to whip them more.”
“Milord, I don’t understand this,” exclaimed Anadine.
“Neither do I. Care to explain girls?” Doc asked.
Before the two trouble-makers could say another word, Claire appeared behind them with a smile on her face.
“Oh girls, I think we need to have another chat.”
The twins were dragged away, their claws digging into the ground, as Claire with her monstrous strength dragged them into her house. The door, oddly enough, expanded to accommodate their size.
When they were gone, Anadine and Doc looked over at Rowen. He shrugged at them.
“I’m 10; I barely understand waking up till this point.”