The room I walked into was filled with incredible heat. I’m not sure if it was due to being a player or my race, but I didn’t sweat. I knew if I was in my normal body back in the real world, I would be dying right now. Two burly vampires were currently working the forge and bellows. They made a decent team from what I’ve seen so far.
“Hello boys,” I called. I quite enjoyed looking at the muscles of the two vampires.
“Master,” Hez, the one working the bellows said jumping to attention for me. He had a European look with pale skin thanks to being a vampire. His brown hair and red eyes managed to work together nicely.
I turned to York. The man working the forge. He was focused solely on his work. A few minutes went by before he dipped the red-hot sword into a barrel of oil. He grabbed a towel and wiped away the soot before turning to me. “Master.”
I walked over and pulled the weapon from the oil barrel. Even my untrained eye could tell it was nice and straight. The edge still needed a bit of work, but with some sharpening, this would be very deadly. “This one looks better than all the others so far,” I commented giving the blade a few swings. It felt nicely balanced as well.
“Practice makes perfect,” York replied though I could see the pleased look in his eye. The dungeon monsters were bound to my will but they did have their own personalities. Who didn’t like being praised for their hard work? I knew I did.
I handed the weapon to him. “I like that attitude.” I looked at each of the men and held their gazes for several seconds each. “We got ahold of coal today. I wanted to know if either of you know how to make steel.” In the real world it was already an amazing metal. In this world, it was classified as a level one magic metal.
“We can. We know the recipes for all the level one magic metals that are alloys. Practice, however, will see that the quality of the metal we produce is worthy of your time.”
“That is all I wanted to hear. A raiding party of goblins attacked us today. While the lower goblins were an even match, the captain or whatever made us look weak. I want every vampire fully armored.”
Hez rubbed his hands together which I found was a nervous tic when he wasn’t holding metal in his hands. “The mana cost…” I waved his statement off. I had to create all the materials they were using. There were already spawners for the metals that we’d gathered so far, but the cost was high to establish them, and the output was low at level one.
“I’ll figure it out. My vampires are too valuable to waste.” I had started to notice that the longer an NPC stuck around, the more they grew. Some of the first vampires had started showing signs of attempting to talk as their level increased. It would be best if I could keep my monsters alive as long as possible.
“Very well. We will melt all the weapons and tools we have down and convert them to steel.”
“Good. I expect that the success of the dungeon lies on your shoulders.” A little pressure would be good for the two. I spun on my heel and left the room. I spotted Dersoa. “Dersoa, dear. Will you work on another room for me?” I asked with a purr. “I need to create an armorer station this time.”
His gravely voice echoed through the hall. “Yes.” He moved off along the side passage heading for another of the empty rooms. I watched him walk off before heading back to the core room. The attack on my dungeon showed me that I was underprepared. Armor and weapons were a good start but I was a dungeon. I had to focus on the layout, traps, tricks and everything else.
I sat in my throne slash chair and thought about what to work on next. With Dersoa working on the dungeon, he’d created a sort of glowing brick with earth magic. It gave off about as much light as a torch might. It also allowed me to see the true state of my cloths. They were barely holding together, not to mention, covering me. One wrong move and I was sure they would disintegrate into dust.
“A dress maker might be nice for the next room,” I mumbled to myself. I was a queen for all intents and purposes. I really should dress like one.
“That is all well and good, master, but without the fabric they would be stuck twirling their thumbs.” Losa had a good point. I had to be careful not to get ahead of myself. The specialized monsters were not cheap in terms of mana. Each new one I added, made the next cost even more.
“You’re right, my friend.” I leaned back and rested my head on my hand. My aura had expanded a good deal. It might be to my benefit to dig a number of tunnels just to see if I happen upon anything interesting. I had declared that the goblins would be dealt with, but my vampires just weren’t up to the task. At least not yet. “It’d be nice to unlock a new monster.”
“You are level three. You have two unlocks waiting for you,” Losa said matter-of-factly. Like it should have been obvious. I didn’t remember any sort of notification.
I jerked up and looked at him. “What do you mean?”
“You unlock a new summon type every time you level up. It should be stated in your summoning menu,” he explained. I opened the menu for the first time in a while. I’d just been summoning the monsters without the screen.
Sure enough, down at the bottom was a little indicator that showed a plus two. I laughed at the ridiculousness of it. Of course. I really needed to grill Losa on all this stuff. It was too bad I didn’t know a thing about what I should be asking him. Well… Trial and error was fine too. At least it kept things interesting.
Tapping on the screen, a list appeared of unlockable monsters. I scrolled through the list not really sure what some of the creatures even were. Many had strange foreign sounding names and there wasn’t a description even when I hovered my finger over the option. “Losa. Is a lesser vampire weaker than the one I can already summon?” I asked my trusty imp guide.
“Correct. They would be cheaper of course, but even weaker and lacking even more intelligence.”
“Then the next one up would be Greater Vampire?”
“Yes. They should be far more intelligent, and you should be able to customize them to a good degree.”
I thought about the demon summoning. I was able to sort of change what was being summoned based on my desired output. I hadn’t been able to do that with my vampires so far. I hadn’t really thought about it until now. The two vampires that I had working the smith were specialized which when I asked Losa turned out was a different ballgame. They still would have been better had they been created with the Greater option.
I decided to use one of my points on the Greater Vampire option. Once the point was spent, a new option appeared directly under that. Greater Vampire – Knight. “What does this option mean?” I asked before explaining what popped up.
“Ah. That is the next level of vampire. I believe after that, there is Pure Vampire – Court. You will be able to create a nobility system in your dungeon or claims if you manage to reach that point. A Pure vampire will have the ability to manage your claim, not to mention is one of the most powerful creatures in the world. Each rank is significantly more powerful than the last. A Baron, for example, could never hope to best a Count.”
Hearing that made me want to select the next level of vampire but only having humanoid monsters might be a negative in the future. Besides, the vampires were already expensive. The Greater versions will no doubt be even more so. I decided to hold off on the Knight option for the moment and inspected the rest of the list.
With Losa’s help, I settled on Greater Demon as my other point. The demons allowed for a lot of customization. I felt it would be good since I could just try and get a demon that served my needs. I checked my mana. I was still at near full after the battle with the goblins. In fact, when I focused on the room next to me, I found that there were several hundred point mana crystals laying on the floor.
Clapping my hands, I focused in front of me as I used the Summon option to select Greater Vampire. Losa was correct, I could greater customize this summon as lists of options appeared in front of me. I thought about what I needed in my fighting force and decided to go with a fighter that knew about leading forces. Let’s be real, I was sure that the battel from earlier could have gone much better if someone who knew what they were doing had been in charge.
Like with Losa, I was given the ability to design their looks. I contemplated for a long time. Probably longer than was necessary before I went with a handsome tall man with bright red hair that was cut short. He had a nice jawline that made me want to run my hand over it repeatedly. He was buff, but not extremely so. His muscles were well pronounced and fit the clothing that I found I could design as well perfectly.
I went with a simple tunic. I could design it, but couldn’t get too carried away. Armor was out as well as weapons. His claws made up for it until my smiths could outfit him. When I was satisfied with everything, I allowed the summoning to proceed. The dungeon mana plummeted to single digits. With my total pool being two thousand after leveling up, that was expensive!
The man formed in front of me with the accompanying tinge of copper and iron in the air. The longer I was stuck here, the more I was finding I actually enjoyed the smell of blood. Once the red light that was filling the room died down, the man opened his eyes and looked directly at me. He grinned and kneeled before me.
“A pleasure to make your acquittance, my queen.” He said with a voice that was like honey to my ears. I might have overdone it. I also realized that I might be feeling a tab bit sexually frustrated.
I coughed and tried to take a regal pose. “I really think the pleasure is going to be mine,” I said sounding a bit more girlish than I meant.
The man chuckled as he stood and took my hand. He placed a kiss on it that I swore caught me on fire. “I rather doubt that. I am Roland, by the way.” If I was still in my body in the real world, I was sure it was having a nosebleed right now.