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Aurora

After Roland returned from scouting, he explained that the tunnel continued for a ways before splitting off into a more forks. I sighed at the fact that it would be hard to control that outside of my aura but nodded all the same. I was going to just write it off for now, but he wanted to scout out a few of the tunnels some more. I decided that he was much more intelligent than the other vampires and would probably have an easier time of it.

Waving to him, I turned and went back to the second section of the dungeon. In the area that had been part of my second level aura, I went through and carved out a massive and complex system of rooms. I also went back and sealed my main tunnel with doors and trap walls every ten meters. That way, I could still use the initial passage we carved, but invaders wouldn’t necessarily know there was a passage and would go through all the new rooms.

Once I was done with that, I moved back to the area around my core room. I had already started creating a ring off rooms around the room, thus I continued with that finishing the current ring and adding a second. When everything was said and done, I had twenty-seven rooms in the first section that I could eventually transform for whatever purpose was needed at the time. In the second section, I had upward to forty rooms. They would be geared more toward protection and repulsion of enemies.

I thought all the work would take days, but with the increase of my power in the dungeon, I had it finished in a few hours. I was just taking a break when Roland returned. His clothes were torn, but any wounds he had suffered had already healed from the looks of it. Since he didn’t appear to be in any immediate danger, I decided to enjoy the eye candy in front of me.

“I have returned, my queen,” Roland said with a bow.

“I can see that,” I mumbled then shook my head and wiped away my drool. “Yes. It looks like you encountered some trouble?”

“I ran into a goblin patrol. I have learned a bit more about our adversaries as well.”

I sat up and did my best to clear my thoughts. Not easy, but when I got it through my skull that the fate of my dungeon might rest on this information, I was able to concentrate a bit easier. “Go on, I’m listening,” I said once I had settled my mind.

“While scouting, I came upon a goblin scouting party led by what appeared to be a mage goblin. With some clever tactics, I… separated the goblin from his party.” Judging by his state, he slaughtered them all. I decided on not saying anything about the cleverness of that plan. “With a bit of persuasion, I was able to make him talk. As I suspected, he was much more intelligent than that few parties that had made their way to us beforehand.”

“Did you find the location of their village or town?” I asked excitedly.

“Yes. My new friend even drew me a map. I have learned that these goblins belong to the nation of Eblos. A goblin country in a forest on the surface.” A nation? I was expected something a little smaller scale. Was I going about this the wrong way? No. The goblins had attacked without injury. I was in my right whatever the case. The enemy was just a bit bigger now. At least I was able to play the ultimate defensive game.

“I understand. Did you learn anything else of interest?” I asked.

“There is another nation vying for power in the Reidgeo Forest. It consists of Orcs. We are in the Un-Resting Tips Mountain range. The goblins have a village just short of two hours from here on the surface. They are pushing into the Abyss to find higher quality materials and metals to fuel their war efforts. This is all surrounded by a human Empire.”

“Interesting. Good job learning so much from your friend. In fact, I do have a reward for you. Hez and York have completed a few steel pieces. Take your pick.”

Roland bowed deeply. “Thank you for the honor, my queen.” I dismissed him to go get his new toy. Personally, I wanted to keep him near me, but my mind wouldn’t be able to focus with him near me. I was even getting to the point that I was considering just taking him and hoping that I get it out of my system. I just feared that I might get addicted if the game made those sensations anywhere near the real thing.

The wounds on him did make me worried. If we were up against a nation, then the small groups might soon become an army. I needed to summon more monsters to grow my numbers. I got up and moved to my mana stone room. A quick count put the number at just over seventy. With all my absorbing and the constant income from my painting, I had accumulated quite a bit. Since the dungeon was level three, I was getting seventy-five mana an hour. Not bad at all.

That gave me just over nine thousand mana to play with once I added my current mana to the count. I debated for a minute then decided it was best to shore up my defense. I could summon four more Greater Vampires. They would be the best addition to my forces. I hesitated to try out the Greater demon. I would wait until my vampires were a bit more numerous. Demons were historically bad at the whole loyalty thing after all.

With no time to lose, I used the summoning spell. I still spent some time designing my new summons. I felt it would be a waste, if I summoned something that I wouldn’t enjoy looking at. Shallow as that may be. A few hours later and I had four extremely handsome men standing in front of me. When Roland joined the group, I feared I wouldn’t be able to walk.

“Carson.” A man with medium length black hair nodded to me. He had a prim and proper face that looked like it had never suffered or seen the light of day. He was what people might consider a cold-hearted prince. He was designed with a mage in mind. My hope was that I could learn a few spells for the elements that I had from him.

“Derrick.” A man with blond hair pounded his chest in a sort of salute. His hairstyle was short like Roland’s but where Roland was flat, Derrick’s was spiked. The man also had more muscle than Roland with a massive smile. He was created as someone wielding a larger weapon. A greatsword or something in that range.

“Frederick.” He was designed with an older gentleman vide. Long hair that had just a few touches of grey. He was a bit more of the lithe side of body structure, but it only made him look even more amazing. He made to be nimble as he was a rogue.

“Harvey.” He was the opposite of Roland, color-wise at least. Where Roland had red hair, he had blue. I also designed him to be much more lighthearted than Roland. He was the first of the batch and I hadn’t been sure which path to go. I decided to call him Roland’s twin. I thought it would be amazing if the two of them stood at the front of a battle with a shield and sword.

“Queen Aurora,” they all chanted, sending a shiver up my spine. I felt like I was about to play one of those Japanese romance games. Frankly, I didn’t mind. My life was over anyways. I might as well enjoy the last two months I had before my body shivered up and died.

I cleared my throat and licked my lips. They had suddenly become dry. “Work with Roland to protect my dungeon. I will be summoning normal vampires to give you all some forces.”

“As you command, Queen Aurora,” they said one by one.

Leaning back, I directed my gaze at Roland. “I need to level up. Start capturing goblins for me to kill personally.” My dungeon and I were inseparable. Since I could protect it myself, then I would start by raising my own level. Roland and the Greaters were all level ten. I was sure that the monsters I summoned would only continue to get stronger. I needed to make sure I was worthy of their command.

“As you wish, my queen.” Roland’s new steel sword shined at his waist. Glancing at the other four, they would need weapons that matched their strength sooner rather than later. There was so much to do and so little time.

~~~

The Demon Lord Rezdona the Beautiful has returned to life! As you are directly responsible, the ability Demonic Aura has been granted to you. The consequences of this event will resound around the world. Your current territory has had Demonic Corruption applied to it.

The Demon Lord Rezdona the Beautiful has returned to life! Mortals! Prepare your armies! Choose your side!

That… was interesting. I rubbed my forehead as I read the notifications a few times. I was on my third read through when my lips spread into a smile. A few seconds later, my laughing filled the core room. Yes! Burn! Everything can burn! Just like the wreckage of my life.

“Something the matter, master?” Losa asked. His question sobered me up if only slightly. I was too weak to join the demon lord. Everything in my control needed to grow. The number of my forces, the overall level, my level, my strength of arms, and just about everything else. No matter, if I was still around in two months, I knew what my next painting would feature. I’m not sure why, but I had gotten a mental image of the demon lord as well as their location once I dismissed the notification.

Actually, I remembered the fact that people opposing the demon lord would be sent their location. This must be how it happened. Although I didn’t oppose her, I didn’t outright choose her side. That might have counted for whatever system was in place. The image I got was of a beautiful woman that would do anything for what she desired. She resembled an Egyptian queen from Earth. The location I got was far, far to the west. I wasn’t even sure how long it would take someone to travel the distance provided to me.

Losa was still looking at me worriedly. “I am fine, my favorite imp. A demon lord has just returned to the world.”

“That is horrible!” Losa exclaimed. “Demon lords caused untold destruction and mayhem.”

I started laughing again causing Losa worried look to return. Ah. It appeared that Losa was going to be my conscience going forward. I slowly returned to a calm state. “My apologizes.” I placed a hand on my chest as I puffed it up. “I was the one that caused her return.”

Watching his face, I saw it go through a range of emotions. It was even to the point that I was impressed that he was an NPC. Finally, he sighed and dropped his head. “That is…” He let the sentence hang. He was speechless.

“Don’t worry, my imp. Dear Losa. If there is one thing I can say, it is that no matter what, I will protect what is mine. Even from a demon lord.” I thought about the man in the center of my painting and the gods surrounding him. “Or even gods and devils.”

He nodded slowly. I asked him to go make a round of the dungeon to make sure everyone was working hard. He probably knew it was just an excuse for him to go clear his head. I watched his small form walk off feeling a bit bad about the situation. But what was done could not be undone.

There was another thing I was now confident in. There were no game masters. An event like this should have sent off more than a few worldwide messages. I was certain the last time something like this had happened, which if I recalled correctly was a war between two nations. The game masters had gone to the responsible party to speak with them on the news. Shit like this was very popular after all. I might not have been playing the game, but even I had listened to podcasts from a few games that I played over the years while I worked.

I lounged back in my chair. What did this mean then? Had I been sucked into an alternative world that resembled the game? Losa had been amazingly lifelike just now, but the Ai had been remarkably advanced before. I was just playing the game and might never really have noticed before now. Was it something else entirely? The game systems were still in place. Only the log out option didn’t work. If I was in another world, surely that option would be gone completely. The only way to know for sure would be to find someone that had answers. Someone that may not even exist for hundreds of kilometers around me.

 

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