Bee followed her master up the last ramp out of the catacombs. She was exhausted from all the exertion and trials of the last couple of days. She was looking forward to a nice nap. Perhaps she would move a mattress into the library so she wouldn't have to sleep on the floor again.
It was a long walk, but it seemed to fly by as she became lost in thought, considering everything she had seen. It felt like she learned so much yet knew even less than she had previously. A lot of the evidence down there contradicted the myths of her people. It appeared that the church didn't tell the whole truth about history. Also, it seemed that humans could get much more powerful than anyone believed possible. Yet, despite all these new pieces of information, she was still no closer to learning how to defeat something like the Lieutenant. Nazareth'gak seemed like it had been defeated by vastly superior numbers of much more powerful troops than she had any access to.
Without leaning on Void's help, she didn't think there was much she could do. There were a couple leads, but to use them, she would need to identify and then learn a language she had never even heard of before. So her work was really cut out for her.
By the time Bee and Void reached the stairs leading up to the iron banded door, she was about ready to collapse from all the walking she had done. However, when they were about to open the door, she heard strange noises. It seemed that they were not alone in the castle anymore.
They were not noises that Bee was familiar with, but she had a sinking suspicion she knew where they came from. One of the downsides of going into the catacombs was she had lost the ability to monitor the other demons that might escape. On the other hand, Bee probably knew enough alchemy at this point that, with some references, she could redraw the containment circles. Still, Void had decided to leave them as training for her, and she had resolved to let them escape.
She wasn't going to lie. The thought of destroying them while they were still recovering had crossed her mind, but there were a few reasons she wouldn't do that. One, she wouldn't get nearly as much experience, so she was better off combat training against them. And two, because if Void had really wanted them to be destroyed, it would have done so itself.
She wasn't going to assume the same thing about the Lieutenant. Sure she might risk interrupting her master's plans. Still, she certainly wasn't ready to train against the Lieutenant. It seemed worth the risk of annoying her master to prevent the Lieutenant from escaping, no matter what Void's plans were.
But still, it would have been best to fight the demons as they escaped one at a time rather than now when they could all be loose throughout the castle. She hoped that just one or two of them were making noise. But she didn't believe her luck would go so far.
Reaching the base of the stairs, she picked up and carried her master to the top. Once the noise subsided, she cracked open the door and peeked outside, checking to see if the coast was clear. There was no apparent danger in sight, so she set her master down before closing the door after them.
Void let out a small screech and rolled away.
When Beatrice set me down, I was aghast. I took in the sight, the horrifying sight of dust everywhere. Much more dust than should be accumulated in two days' time. Not only that, but there was also dirt caked over every surface. It was pounded into the stones, and some places had a coating of dust all over everything. What could have possibly caused this?
Without wasting a moment, I turned my vacuum on as soon as possible. It was much stronger than normal, and as I moved, I could see that dust was being pulled from a massive radius around me. I turned it up to only a fraction of what its power could be to protect the decorations and rugs. Once it was on, I moved toward the carpet that ran down the center of the hallway and out the main door. I steadily increased the power until I noticed the carpet ruffling quite furiously underneath me. Any more, and I would start to damage it.
I looked over and saw Beatrice, hair whipping in the breeze. She was staring at me with a shocked expression on her face. I suppose this power was a bit much. It would help me clean the room faster, but I was worried about knocking things askew on the walls too. So I toned it down 54.5%, finding the perfect balance between efficiency and caution.
Still, the entryway only took me a few passes to clean. Not only was I cleaning the floor, but if I went up against the wall, I also cleaned a good bit of the dirt off the wall. I checked the side rooms, and they were not nearly as bad. They looked like no one had stepped in them for a few days since we had last cleaned them, but no one had passed through the narrow doors. At least nothing that had caused all this dirt. Finally, I cleaned the entryway at the base of the stairs. It only took me 46 seconds. That was only 20% of the time it would have taken me before.
While I worked, Beatrice just watched me. To be fair, there wasn't much for her to do as this was pretty simple. But she also started looking up at the stairs, and when I was done, I joined her. Unfortunately, the stairs were a mess. This was a significant issue. I couldn't clean the stairs.
That might have to be Beatrice's job, but it looked like she had her work cut out for her because the amount of dirt tamped down on the carpet was excessive. And even the stone next to the carpet runner seemed like it would require quite a bit of attention. But if the rest of the castle was anything like this, there would be a lot of work for me to do, too, just to get the place in reasonable order. We probably will have to make multiple passes throughout the castle. Perhaps she can get started on cleaning the stairs while I clean all the floors. Then we could go through with a fine-toothed comb to ensure everything was cleaned up.
Suddenly, there was a loud roar from somewhere up the stairs. Oh, right, whatever was causing this mess needed to be dealt with too. And that probably needed to be done before we cleaned anything, or else it would just cover the area in another mess. Looking back, I started to make connections that I had missed earlier. So those lesser demons came from the smaller cages. And those smaller cages were ringed by circles. These circles were in patterns. Sure, while they were mostly dust and white powder, those patterns might mean something. The other cages were also ringed with powders. Perhaps those cages had something in them too?
Some of the comments Beatrice made earlier that I didn't understand started to make sense to me now. I needed help understanding the mechanism for containing these mess makers or the reasons for it. Still, the idea of releasing them made sense if the mechanism involved those chalky, powdery circles. How messes kept in mess makers….
But if I took that at face value and realized I erased chalk circles around many other things, those might have had a similar function. Oh no. I think this mess might have been my fault. I would have to work extra hard to rectify my blunder.
Beatrice looked at me. I rolled towards the stairs and stopped, waiting for her to pick me up and carry me. She let out a long breath before picking me up and trudging me up the stairs. It seems like she needed to charge. I hope she didn't leave to take care of some of these demons, though. They sounded louder than the previous ones, and I didn't think she would be able to recover while they were running around. Loud noises seemed to disturb humans charging.
So she sent me down, and I began to lead the way to the library. Hopefully, it was still undisturbed since the doors were shut. Perhaps I can leave Beatrice there so she wouldn't get hurt while I go and deal with some of the mess makers?
Right as we were about halfway down the main hallway, something significant lumbered into view. I could see dirt raining down from it, tracking the mess everywhere.
I let out an angry screech as I charged full speed right toward it. My vacuum whirred furiously on high power.
Slowly, the giant mess maker turned to face me. My suction tugged at it. I could feel the pieces of dirt that fell off it change directions toward my vacuum. However, my suction was not powerful enough to budge the giant creature.
As I zipped toward it, I considered how I would damage it. I didn't have a sword or other heavy counterbalance to knock pieces off of it. I thought my mop would only help a little as it wasn't liquid. I could try batting at it with my grabby arm, but that seemed inefficient. My best solution was still the vacuum itself. As I got closer, the more intense the suction became. I could see pieces of the creature being pulled off and floating away from it. I couldn't move the whole creature, but it seemed that my presence tore off small chunks. I turned my vacuum up as high as I dared, and the rate at which it disintegrated increased. Taking it in, it seemed I was taking a negligible bit of it. Still, it would be entirely gone in about 15 to 20 minutes of me being in close proximity.
However, I doubted it would let me do that. As I zipped around it, trying to stay close, I took the sight in. It was a hulking beast and moved like it. The demons I had seen before looked like hairy, small chimps - aside from the two that had come out of my dustbin, of course. This appeared to be a gorilla made of sand. The sand was multicolored in shades of brown and black. Still, aside from the general shape, there were no distinguishing features on the monstrosity besides ridges and impressions on its surface. Despite this, different shapes and formations constantly shifted and disappeared along its body. As I observed, I saw something resembling a face and something else almost claw-like.
I was lucky that it wasn't swift. It spun around, trying to keep me in its sight, but it couldn't even turn as fast as I could speed around it. Eventually, it just seemed to give up on that tactic. Instead, it placed one lumpy limb on the ground and spun in the opposite direction I was going. It appeared to be trying to sweep me off the ground. However, I was too fast and just retreated a little ways away from it. But as my distance increased, the stream of particles coming off it stopped.
Before it had a chance to go after Beatrice behind me, I darted back in. This dance was set to continue for a very long time unless something changed. I tried to mix it up. I couldn't get my mop near it safely. In a last-ditch effort to speed up this encounter before some unknown factor came along to mess it up, I turned my sanitation lamp on the creature.
Support "All the Dust that Falls: A Roomba Isekai Adventure"
Bio: After reading pretty much everything I could I figured I would try making some of the stories that I wanted to read.