Dreamweaver Chapter 220
At the fae classroom;
How do I explain this?
Sunghee insists on accompanying me now permanently, “…everywhere no matter what!” now that we’ve faced not just one but two different assassination attempts. Both were one right after another. There was the darkness wielding mage, and after that was another unsuccessful attempt by two other mages duo-ing to get us on the same day, on the same dungeon run.
Because of it, now the girls won’t let me go anywhere without an escort. But not all of them can walk openly in a fae city, such as Mallory. And while its not obvious to have Asakura out in the open on the street it would attract a lot of attention.
So I’m stuck with Sunghee escorting me, even if it’s in the fae fortress prison city and if she’s noticed, Sunghee insists of walking out in the open with me. In fact we had a huge lover’s quarrel about it this morning, which is rare because the pheromones don’t usually let the girls fight because it helps keep them calm. But if there is something they fight about it’s usually me, and that can make them even angrier actually if it’s about that. And that’s what happened. I had to listen to Sunghee yell at me for an hour, that she won’t let me go out alone and without being guarded.
But I guess if they feel strongly about it, and if it’s about love the pheromones can work against me. This was a new discovery.
We settled in the back of the adventurer class trying to be less obvious. I’d been so swamped with so many things I’d forgotten about this until she reminded me about it. But once a week the fae want us to show up to these and compare notes with the other human and demi-human adventurers. It kind of feels like going to a gangster high school when I came in the building.
It's almost like AA for adventurers Sunghee joked.
And there are problems with people staring at Sunghee, both girls and guys.
But well…let’s face it, Sunghee sticks out like a sore thumb and is easily distracting everyone in the class to stare at her. Even the adventurer girl dressed like a heavy metal nun is distracted by the one girl prettier than she is. And of course Sunghee has a better bust line than the other girls too.
Oh wait the notorious ‘Heavy Metal Nun’ girl is interesting to see again. She’s an interesting character. But not a lot of the others do I recognize from before.
It’s weird seeing people also wearing and carrying weapons everywhere too but that’s accepted here because of both the ‘licensed adventurer’ status, and the fact that the fae stronghold is under siege by baddies outside.
One by one the others trickle in. We’d arrived a little bit early.
“Who is that?” the dwarf guy asked.
Oh wait, I recognize the dwarf as being one of the people we’d seen with the ‘Heavy Metal Nun’ earlier. But I don’t like that he’s a bit too interested in my girl.
Overall though, dwarves are interesting for a lot of reasons. They often have good gear. They are strong and have good survival rates. This one has strange chain ringlets woven into his beard to look fiercer. He’s also got a lot of small sneaky type weapons in various pouches and pockets on his body too, like daggers, darts, or spiked knuckles.
But that only benefits you if they can be trusted. I still don’t know how to tell dark dwarves from normal dwarves. I’m not even sure if a lot of dwarves know how to do that either.
“I’m Shun’s personal secretary,” Sunghee said.
“So jealous…” the half beastman said.
Ah, that guy again. He’d just walked in a few seconds earlier and was near the back. So I didn’t see him until now.
Finally attention is pulled off us when the teachers came in.
“OK, let’s begin. Hurry time is wasting. I want a full report of your activities over the last week,” Mr. Soon said.
The class grumbled but we spent the next ten minutes giving out our reports. People talked about the dangers of adventuring for a few minutes before turning the time over to the teacher. Now it resembles a cram school.
My hand went up to get their attention, to try to say something. But others are also raising their hands too so I have to look more energetic about it.
“Yes?” Mr. Zeph called on me while Mr. Soon is going over the freshly collected reports. He doesn’t look up and seems uncomfortable being here while Zeph looks almost like he loves school teaching. It’s a strange contrast between them though Zeph does seem to be studying humans by the way he’s looking at us like bugs. While using them to fill out some other report to his presumed fae bosses now Zeph seems to have the floor.
“Sir, we wish to report someone has been trying to assassinate people in defense squads in the dungeons. It’s been confirmed twice with my group, and I suspect others have either turned up missing or not been seen in days,” I stated.
“And they went through a lot of lengths to cover it up,” Sunghee added right after me. Her voice and appearance lent some believability since people tend to underestimate me.
“Who are you guys again?” the teacher added.
Sunghee spoke up and identified us as being licensed.
For some reason that’s when people chose to believe us. Several people gasped in astonishment.
“That’s a serious accusation. And you are sure of this?” Mr. Zeph said.
“Absolutely. I also make sure to add my confirmation as a witness,” Sunghee said.
Of course there’s more credibility since its Sunghee. It’s sexist and bias but people want to believe a hot girl over a boy, probably from the hope of winning her favor. She’s even stood up quickly to say it with her chair being pushed back, scraping against the floor.
“But why haven’t others noticed yet?” someone asked.
“With us they tried to single people out when they were away from their group. And the second time it happened when our group was surrounded and cut off from the exit,” Sunghee explained.
The murmurs continued. People are nervous.
We don’t want to interrupt dungeoning though because it’s a huge business. In fact a lot of both the crafting AND the food supply of the city come from dungeon runs. The entire economy runs off it. So something like this is going to upset people.
“I-is that true?” Heavy Metal Nun didn’t contain her outburst. She’s regarding us with an intense expression.
“So it’s true then. I wondered why my friends didn’t come back,” the dwarf growled.
“What? You had friends disappear too? With me it was my cousin. We thought he left town but then my aunt said he never arrived back home,” another said.
“Me too. We lost our scout. He went to get supplies for us and didn’t come back. We thought he just took off with the group’s funds but then when we reported it, his license had been classified as ‘KIA’ status by the guild,” another said.
People are getting more excited now that they see it’s not just us.
“Wow, so many…”
“This is bad.”
“We need to do something. This is our livelihood!” another said.
“Why would they do that though?” Heavy Metal Nun asked.
“Isn’t it obvious? We’re under siege,” the dwarf countered.
“I guess you are right. I didn’t want to believe it. Things had been going well and I guess I had wishful thinking,” the Nun sighed.
“So are they picking us off one by one?” the half beastman asked.
“Calm down. Everyone stay calm. We’ll figure this out,” Mr. Zeph somehow managed to get everyone quiet.
“First let’s go over the facts. If there is a problem, then we’ll solve it,” Mr. Zeph tried to reassure us. But the callousness of his co-teacher Mr. Soon, the co-teacher, isn’t helping his believability, since Soon seems to not care at all.
“Well teacher there are six desks empty. And those six are veterans. It’s normal to have newbies, apprentices disappear, but not the veterans. The veteran death rate is usually quite low for the whole year. I find that odd,” the dwarf guy said.
Two other dwarves in the back nodded and grunted some kind of agreement.
“Crap,” the beastman guy growled. Others complained right after him but eventually we got things calmed down.
“So we need to stop this now!” the dwarf said with his fist raised. His eyes are an intense expression. Later afterwards we found he was also from Earth but had a mutation. Our Japanese accents had excited him since it’s not often you meet people from the same world and timeline. He then had to introduce himself as, Wilhelm. He’s from Germany it seems in a rural province near Bavaria.
“How do we know that they just didn’t want to come to class?” Heavy Metal Nun asked. I later learned her name is Sofie. I guess she’s having trouble accepting it; maybe because she doesn’t like restrictions.
“We don’t,” a second beastman said.
“Teacher, can you check the roll and see if they have shown up for class at any time in the last 7 days? I’d like to rule out that they just didn’t take the alternate class schedule for their once a week check in,” Wilhelm asked.
We wait on pins and needles. Everyone is worried. But Mr. Zeph is more proactive than the other guy. “If there is such a thing as assassinations then I want to know about it too. In fact, I want to know about it more than you guys. We’ve invested heavily in this gate fortress,” he said seriously.
“But that’s impossible. Our barrier detects daemonic beings entering the fortress city. Besides they are mortals, why should we believe them?” Mr. Soon countered, looking up from his reports.
“Be careful what you say. You aren’t supposed to leak who were are fool,” Mr. Zeph corrected him.
Soon turned and went back to his work, bent over and ignoring the problem.
Yeah those guys are obviously fae overseers of some kind.
“But what if they have non-daemon agents working with them?” Heavy Metal Nun asked.
Some others agreed with her.
I also noticed Soon and Zeph avoided the confirmation on the missing veterans. I think that’s a bad sign.
“Not necessarily. Are you sure your protection magic would pick up on something that’s in the dungeons and not happening in the city? The attack on our group happened not in the city, but in the dungeon,” I reminded them.
“Yeah listen to Shun. He’s a badass. He knows what to do,” Sunghee exclaimed energetically right after me, jumping out of her seat again. Then she’s got her hand on my shoulder after that the rest of the time.
Everyone’s looking at her. Then they look at me with scorn. Of course it might trigger an enmity response when someone sounds too worshipful of another.
The others couldn’t help but start murmuring together in fear.
“Um, you don’t need to reveal me to others,” I whispered in Sunghee’s ear.
“S-sorry. I sometimes can’t help it. You are just so awesome,” she said back with a humbled expression.
I patted her head while the others calmed down. They are still shooting off their mouths.
“Your sappy love drivel is embarrassing,” the dwarf whispered to me from nearby.
I heard a few chuckles from that but I guess it’s playful banter.
“If that’s true then…”
“The dungeon isn’t safe then?” someone else said near us.
“But we need the dungeon. Everything in town uses it for raw materials that we salvage. Our food too has a lot come from in there because the siege makes fields outside the fortress unsafe to work,” another sighed.
The pandemonium and fear is growing a bit.
“It kind of makes sense. This is the perfect plot. They can get around the fortress city’s protective barriers when we’re in the dungeon and pick us off one by one,” Wilhelm the dwarf mused aloud.
But then it quieted down when Mr. Zeph held up his hand. “It’s true there are concerns that the dungeon could be used for such attempts but we can work it out. I’m sure we can work out a solution. I won’t cover this up either. I’ll bring it to the attention of higher ups for us to work on together. Our relationships with the humans, high humans, and demi-humans are important to the fortress administration. Give us some time to work on this. Also the dungeon can limit how many enemies attack you one by one too. This means the enemy can still be beaten,” he assured us.
A few others nodded and liked that comment but I still am a bit wary.
“That means we have a chance,” the dwarf guy Wilhelm said.
“I like that but I still hope administration takes this serious,” Heavy Metal Nun said.
Bingo…her and Sunghee together on this has helped gather a lot of support.
“That’s an interesting observation. So they can’t attack us 10 to 1 still. That means we can beat them,” I fumed.
I’d also learned that dungeon settings do have safeties on them about faction vs faction stuff. But well, there’s still no limit on creatures from the dungeon itself versus others…
The others see my confidence, in the midst of their indecision. They also see Sunghee hanging on my arm looking at me with hero worship. The jealousy increased in some because of Sunghee but the others are considering what I said.
“So you think it can be done still?” Heavy Metal Nun asked me.
“I do. But well, I’ve got an edge that others don’t. Others not in my party should still be very careful and wary,” I warned.
The nun rolled her eyes. I think she thought I was speaking from pride but I wasn’t. I just knew my skill set would boost the survival rate over others.
“Sure…a ‘support mage’ gets to tell us what to do,” the beastman guy with her chuckled. A few others laughed with him.
“But what Shun said is true,” Sunghee said. “Also I’ve got veteran status,” she added.
That countered things a bit and now people are seeing us in a new light.
“This is good, we’re getting somewhere. But that means we need to prepare better and different than before. Keep them on their toes,” Wilhelm growled.
“Absolutely,” I stated.
“The dungeon is perfectly safe,” Mr. Soon growled in objection. He totally isn’t listening to what we just said while he’s writing something down.
“Duh? What are you doing? You know the dungeon is still a threat to normal non-fae! There’s no reason to tell them something that they know is false!” Mr. Zeph chastised back at him.
Within seconds Zeph and Soon are heatedly arguing, ignoring us and disagreeing with each other. We then lost track of what was being said because they began arguing in some kind of fae language that none of us could speak. Then they began shouting at one other. When one raised their voice then the other raised his to match. It almost looked like they would come to blows but then suddenly Soon left the room.
Soon ended up leaving early.
Finally Zeph sighed. “You’ll have to forgive him. He’s not really a fae supremacist. He’s just naïve and thinks this will go away if we throw enough people at it. I don’t like using fodder tactics though because they hurt our end goals. He does sometimes act like a fae supremacist but he has good parents so it couldn’t possibly be …well at any rate… So he does really want to help us too. But right now there’s so much pressure among the others to survive. We’ve been afraid for awhile ever since the daemon forces found one of our hidden strongholds. Some of us are still confused.”
Then he took a deep breath before continuing. “At any rate, I believe you about the assassination attempts and we’re going to do something about it.”
“Finally…” the dwarf scoffed.
“Try not to be mad at us. Your survival rate living here in the fae fortress is already twice as good as it would be living in the world here without our protection. Also your standard of living is better too. I’m glad for that. There are a lot of good things to living here for all of us and working together. We still have a few bugs to work out but we can do it. We really believe that humans, demi-humans, and fae can work together to keep this a daemon free world. And we have so much work to do. Please help us. We will be reliable allies,” he said with pleading eyes.
The others seem sort of half doubting, half believing. I guess they worry because when we do go out in the dungeon it is pretty scary.
Still, concerns arose in my heart watching him. Sunghee is also affected by how sad he looks. The sadness and grief on his face tells us that the fae aren’t doing so well in this war. In fact, from his facial expressions I’d guess that he is acting like someone would if they were losing.
Why was he so depressed? And why was the other guy so fearfull and not willing to admit there were problems?
“So for now, what I’d like is for you to do two teams together in the dungeons. This will be temporary while we have the government look into the dungeon safety issue. Also we have no interest in tampering with your own agreements with each other over loot percentages. Normally you do teams of 6 to 8 or less, depending on the dungeon type. With this particular dungeon, normally the halls and tunnels in a dungeon won’t let you do more than six people in a team, but if one team is following after the other then you can alternate who is facing combat while the second team provides protection from ambushes and so on by staying close together. Although this will require a lot of trust between each group,” Mr. Zeph concluded as he pointed to his chalk diagram on the blackboard using a mana projector of some kind with picture images.
Is this fae powerpoint or what? His diagram is pretty good, but his stick figures are ugly. It shows six cartoony looking people with smiles on their faces with swords, shields, and pointy mage hats attacking what look like stick figure goblins and orcs, complete with green chalk for the goblins and white chalk for the humans and human allies, including demi-humans. Then his diagram shows the team of six behind the first team coming from behind to intercept assassin stick figures.
We began discussing options, failsafes, and how to beat this tricking the system.
“So how did the enemy figure this out though? There must be somehow they are figuring out when people are going in or out or their strategy wouldn’t work. They must have had a hard time charting a route in the dungeon right?” I expressed aloud.
Clearly the more I think about it the more I realize this isn’t just one group, but is some kind of grand scale orchestration of highly organized crime groups together. One on one ‘assassinry’ is just the beginning. We could have a big masquerade of what looks like a mob turf war being controlled by the enemy troops outside that is actually a certain phase in the siege. And what’s more disturbing would be considering the question of ‘what the next phase is?’
“I confirm that. I do a bit of dungeon mapmaking myself. It would have taken years for them to prepare this because essentially they are coming from the bottom of the dungeon on Hell’s side up to meet our side in the mortal world. That can’t be easy. And they must have someone with travel magic is a big issue that’s ferrying their groups back and forth,” Wilhelm said.
Many of the class people gasped in astonishment. I guess the idea that they are tracking when people go in unnerved a lot of them. Actually that unnerves me too but I’m calm.
“Travel magic is really rare and powerful. Having someone like that would make you hard to beat,” Sunghee explained, whispering in my ear.
Finally the pandemonium in the room calmed down as Mr. Zeph got control again.
“So we’re going to have to be really careful then,” the Nun sighed.
“That’s a good question. Someone on their side is pretty smart and working this up for the grunts on the front lines. But it’s rare for daemons to be interested in the dungeons themselves. They want to grow it usually not farm it themselves because that’s part of their end game strategy for this world and how to conquer it. They would protect it and join with it but not harvest from it. But if they are spilling onto floors that they don’t belong to it means that there is something serious afoot and that they are bending the dungeon rules,” Zeph countered.
“It’s pretty sneaky and smart though. Now that I think about it, it’s the one way they can sap our stronghold’s strength without being detected or confronting us directly with open warfare. And meanwhile the rest of the citizens are in a sleepy haze thinking ‘all is well’. And they get to do it while circumventing our guards and soldiers,” Sunghee spoke up.
Zeph stiffened. “Wait, a minute. So what is your relationship to Shun again?”
“Oh sorry, I’m Shun’s wife,” Sunghee said with a slight bow. She’s also…well …I think that when she said that she was posing, showing off her awesome figure and big boobs. I’ll have to spank her later for it.
The other class members eyes are daggers again.
“Don’t you mean mistress?” I said.
That didn’t help any. The Nun and the dwarf, Wilhelm especially look scandalized at the mention of mistress.
“Well wife or mistress, it doesn’t matter how you classify me. But I belong to Shun,” Sunghee smiled happily.
“I don’t get it. Isn’t he a support class? Why would you follow some weak support mage guy?” one of the guys that looks like a fire mage asked.
“A support class? That’s so weak. How did she fall for him?” another said.
Suddenly a small group of the class is laughing at me. They point their fingers of scorn at me for being a support class.
Little fuckers all of them; but I’ll have the last laugh.
“I think you guys are wrong. Support classes aren’t weak at all. Support class is best,” Sunghee said with no fear.
“What? That doesn’t make sense,” someone said.
Others had similar comments.
“Do they know something we don’t?” I heard the dwarf whisper to Heavy Metal Nun.
Somehow they are scoffing more.
“Hmm, so she has a fetish for support classes? I didn’t know there was a preference like that,” someone said.
“I don’t get it, why do you guys think being a support class is so weak?” I scratched my head. In truth I could say summoner…but that would cause a lot of problems.
“Wait, let me check. I have a class identifier spell. Let me check his status,” the friend of the fire mage kid from before said. This kid looks like a tow headed blonde in ragged brown robes. He seems to be some kind of alchemist.
“Identify!” he chants.
Then a blue screen pops up as he looks at my status. Wait, I hope he doesn’t see that much. You can’t see everything with a status check spell right? Somehow I’m relieved at his next outburst, since I don’t want him discovering anything serious.
“Hmm, he is a support class. Amazing!” he cried.
But he said amazing, not stupid, weak, or other words? I found myself curious as well. I know I’m strong but I don’t actually know how weak the others are in comparison. So it’s interesting to hear about it.
Sunghee leaned over to see what they are looking at. I have my fears as well.
“Well it does show your status Shun but doesn’t let him see your race or abilities. In fact it only lets him see your condition, which is normal, race shows a **** blocked mark over it for some reason but normally he should see your race, and class says; support mage,” Sunghee read back to me and to the others.
Some of the others began laughing.
“So it’s confirmed.”
“Oh that’s awesome! He came in here acting like a badass and he’s just showing off as a newb!” someone said.
The others are laughing more.
I don’t really care and it rolls off me.
Ahh maybe they didn’t recognize the leaderboard because it’d spelled my name backwards last name first, instead of first name first like a lot of other people here do it. So they must not have thought I was that same guy.
“That is weird though. It should show race,” the alchemist said while going over the screen. Now he’s suddenly suspicious.
“We don’t have time for this. Move along people! We have things to do! We need to get moving and figure out our plan,” Wilhelm said.
“Well it seems that I’m going to pair your teams off with each other. If you have a platoon squad and training newbies then your training with them is counted separate from here by the way,” Zeph said.
Hmm is that how it worked? I’d been confused but then Sunghee whispered to me that Lars is in another class.
Somehow class ended and we were each assigned a protection group to duo with. The angry dwarf Wilhelm is in front of me. It just so happens that we’re in his group with the Heavy Metal Nun, and the half beastkin guy. “Great, just what I wanted. To be paired up with a weak support mage. This is so lame!” Wilhelm threw his miners hat on the ground.
“I’m sick of dwarves. Why is it always dwarves Shun?” Sunghee wailed in dismay.
Hearing that the damage of the dwarf’s comments was small compared to the dismay of a pretty hot girl rejecting him. So I feel sorry for him in the end.
“The groups are final. I won’t permit any backtalk or changes, unless you want to spend the week in jail. We don’t have time to argue or fight among ourselves when the safety of the city fortress is concerned. I need you all working together,” Zeph concluded.
Somehow we kept Sunghee and Wilhelm from going to blows with each other.
Others are being more cooperative too with the teacher leading like he shoud.
Maybe I can avoid these people except for once a week?
But Zeph is concerned because it seems that the survival rate of the assassins is less than 25%, which is extremely high and that didn’t come out at the classroom meeting but I found out later. There was one other group that survived them in another class. And that class had four people missing. That combined with our six people missing and us that mean about 3 people out of 12 managed to survive their thinning people out, not counting Sunghee since I summoned her.
And that in turn means we may have to face the decision of fighting on a lower dungeon setting to make sure we survive the next wave of assassins. But we don’t know how soon that will be either.
What a headache.