I didn't stop pumping destruction and desolation upon the land just because it was night. The lasers hadn't stopped firing though I had already replaced the generators twice. The PD weapons were also shooting manically. The Infernali was relentless but it wasn't the same horde as earlier this morning.

Meanwhile, I worked on solving the command lag between here and the main Dungeon, forty-four miles to the west. I created a double tunnel, the first with only five feet of height and the second, right below the first, with twenty feet. On the smaller tunnel, I planted grass, forty-four miles of grass, stretching from below the FOB all the way to the main Dungeon and connecting to the Savanna on the ninth floor. Or was it the eleventh? Anyway.

My Superconductive Vegetation Perk cut the communication delay between here and there. As the grass started transmitting my commands with the speed of light, I felt the city and the Dungeon below come into full sight in real-time. The effective distance was reduced to zero.

The second tunnel was flat and ran fifty feet below the surface, all the way to the city, stopping underneath the training floors. I hollowed underneath the structure and created a subway station, adding tracks all the way back to the FOB, where a small platform and a spiral staircase would bring my guests to the top of my command center.

My intention was simple. I wanted to capitalize on Marshall's Raid Leader Class to power-level people. His Perk didn't allow raid members to be further than five miles from one another so I needed to bring people here. My people.

During these months, I had sorted the people living in the Dungeon and I had a group of a hundred men and women which I trusted. Now I wanted to bring their levels to as high as I could so they could be my agents. Another reason I wanted to power-level people with Raid Leader was that I was getting jack shit Exp from the kills. Right now, all my Exp was coming from Mass Murderer, and I would gain those regardless of the kill Experience being hoarded by me or split a thousand ways.

With the subway train ready in less than an hour (it took this long because I was using most of my Materialization speed in the fight), I fought until morning, waiting for the people to wake up. Though not many people in Pitsmouth slept that night. My light show was too dazzling, it seemed.







> You received the java.util source package.


Okay! Will this be a good day? Drat, jinxed it again!





Marshall was on board with my plan. A little problem that had a quick solution. He couldn't go underground. We amended the treaty by dropping that restriction, and he was glad to meet the people he sent downstairs. It seems that some of my consciousness had rubbed on him and he was concerned about them. Or just curious. I had no way to tell.

"What are these?" He asked one of the Dungeon dwellers, pointing at the portable PC she was pointing at him.

"It is a machine made by Mr. Garfield Babbage!" The woman excitedly said and flipped the device to shoot a selfie video with the Lord. "It can record image and audio, and play it back! And we can write using these cubes with letters!"

Marshall froze. "Is this a smartphone?"

The anachronism wasn't missed by me. I wrote on the subway station wall.

<You know what a smartphone is?>

Marshall laughed. "Of course I do. It was a communication device used by people. They could talk to anyone across the world and do many things. Though I think they weren't this big..."

<No, this is an earlier model of computer I made for them. Smartphones were computers too, but much more advanced than this device Gemmina is using..>

He coughed. "Of course. Smartphones were computers too. That makes sense. But all computers stopped working after the Apocalypse. I heard someone say before that magic interferes with technology."

<Yes, that is true. All computers I found were dead and completely erased. I had to rebuild this one myself. As far as I can tell, computers made by this Dungeon work with magic just fine.>

"Can I have one?"

<Later. Tell you what. I'll give you a computer as a reward for your hard work today.>

"I want a hundred."

<Five, don't push your luck.>

We settled at twenty-five. The joke was on him, these Z80 models were about to be replaced by the 486 and then even more advanced generations. And once I figured out how touchscreens work, I will have smartphones as well. The monkeys are finishing typing the BIOS and basic OS system for the 486 and porting them to the Pentium chip I have won't be too hard.

The people boarded the train and I sent them speeding down the tunnel. The sound of the subway wheels clattering on the tracks was comforting. It reminded me of home, of an easier life. One where I was a real person. Boy, did I just figure out I had a huge Pinocchio complex?





Everyone here (except Marshall, he didn't count) had a Class that was at least Rare. These people were the ones I convinced to drop their crappy Classes and level up again from scratch. Some were Video Producers, and others had even become Computer Operators. If I could get some people to unlock the Computer Programmer Class, I would see our technology evolve by leaps and bounds.

I wasn't even concerned whether Marshall would succeed in reverse-engineering the computers I promised him.

We had the civilians safely hidden in an underground facility with living space, a garden, and even beds. Marshall was up in the Command Center with me.

"What are those metal cylinders on pylons?" He shouted. To be heard over the cacophony of the cannons going off, he had to. "I can recognize the cannons from old military books and the arrow weapons aren't unfamiliar."

<Laser Beams. Or Laser Generators. They shoot concentrated light that boils the enemies.>

A cannon that reached the end of its useful life vanished. It had microscopic cracks I detected in my Domain. It was easy to spot once I knew what I should look for. A new one promptly appeared in its place.

<I need to deconstruct and make a new weapon because they get damaged after firing for so long.>

"You can create one such weapon this fast? Out of nothing?"

Should I tell him I could make ten of these every minute if I could focus only on that? But I was dissolving corpses, reloading the weapons. Heck, the dreamed fire rate of 108,000 cannon shells per minute went down the drain once I had to materialize the ordnance.

<Yeah, as you saw.>

"You scare me. You really scare me."

<I'll take that as a compliment.>

"You do that. Partner," He grinned but I could see he was unnerved by all the destruction around us.

Another volley of cannons fired. These were the ones angled to strike fifteen miles away. The people downstairs were commenting and cheering as some of them gained free levels. Back in the city, a large fight started.

< people are fighting in the streets. About fifty bruiser-types, it started as a bar brawl but is spreading faster than wildfire.> I warned Marshall.

"What are the guards doing?" He asked.

<I'm afraid the people there are too high level for your guards. Perhaps we can bring them here later.>

"You would do that?" He smiled.

<Sure, why not? You are no longer a threat, no longer a slave owner, and I doubt you want to end our partnership with violence so soon.>

"Or ever." He glanced at the distance. "You have my permission to intervene any way you want."

I stopped some of the respawning of fish on the lake floor and Replicated a Blackjack Six chassis on the roof of the tavern. I could pilot it through the remote control just fine. I was about to jump into the fray when...




A primal and deep scream caused the whole FOB and the world around us to shake. The sound was infused with wicked sticky magic.


> You heard the call of Jabberwock. You lost a Willpower contest. The efficiency of all Attributes is lowered by 50% for 1 hour.


Marshall gasped and braced against the table. "I forgot how much this sucks."

What the hell? I had about 3,000 points of Willpower now! And I lost the check?

<How did I lose a Willpower contest?>

Marshal sputtered a wry and pained chuckle. "We confirmed that Jabberwock has all Attributes above 10,000. Nobody has ever resisted the monster's scream. But that's the bad news."

<What is the good news?> I wrote on my chest LCD.

"You hurt him."

<But he was...> I stopped typing, then pressed backspace. <Jabberwock was about sixteen miles away yesterday. They crawl a mile each day. The cannons shoot fifteen miles away.>

"Jabberwock has just walked into the range of your cannons," Marshall completed. "And these weapons hurt him. I must congratulate you. There are fewer than twenty people in this world, dead or alive, who can claim such a feat."

<What happens now?>

"Run and you will live to brag. Jabberwock speeds up when wounded. But that train of yours is fast enough."

<How fast does it get?>

"It gains about 50% speed. So, a mile and a half per day now."

<For how long?>

"No idea."

That cut the time we had from two months to a month and a week. I remembered I had another pressing concern.

<Does Jabberwock have any commander-type Infernali? Like demons who can control other demons?>

"No. Thank goodness. That would be catastrophic."

<I killed only 742,578 monsters yesterday. The horde should have millions of monsters.>

Marshall shook his head. "You killed a lot. You might seem to have killed a lot of monsters but that is because of the ones who cast illusions. Real pain in the ass. There's a type of Infernali, how were they called again? Oh, Mirrorshrouds. The Mirrorshrounds can create illusionary semi-real copies of other monsters and even themselves. These copies can even harm people but they are very weak. It last forever after conjured too. So the longer a Mirrorshround lives, the more illusions it creates."

<So, no overlords who can control other Infernali, right?>

"Yes. Not even Jabberwock can control the beasts it spawns."

<Do you think I got most of the horde?>

"Obviously not, if the kill notifications we are getting are any hint."

I pulled it up.


[...] 27,314 Kill messages suppressed.

Mass Murderer! 27,314 Extra Experience points awarded.

You gained 29,874 Experience Points.

You gained a level! You gained +13 Intelligence, +13 Wisdom, +14 Willpower, +13 Clarity, and +13 Hardness. You have 10 Attribute Points.

You gained a level! You gained +13 Intelligence, +13 Wisdom, +14 Willpower, +13 Clarity, and +13 Hardness. You have 10 Attribute Points.

> You gained the Seed of Yggdrasil Perk. A (Unique) magical acorn was added to your Dimensional Storage. This is a seed of Yggdrasil, the fabled ash tree that sustained the worlds. Should you lose this seed, it won't be replaced.


A Quest has been generated!

> Yggdrasil, the Rebirth.


1 - Plant the seed.

2 - Grow a new World Tree.

3 - Defend the new World Tree. Every year the world tree survives, you shall gain 5 levels.

4 - You may appoint up to 1,000 people as deputy defenders. Each will gain 1 level per year from this Quest.

5 - If the World Tree grows tall and healthy enough to pierces the heavens, All the Infernali World Bosses currently on Earth will wither and die.


Bloody hell.


About the author


Bio: The author would like to reinforce for the umpteenth time that the characters' opinions are their own, may be intentionally wrong, do not reflect my (MDW's) personal viewpoints neither are included in this work to further any political agenda (I don't even live in the same hemisphere or country as you, whichever those are. I'm writing from the Earth-Sun L3 point for all I care). My works serve no purpose other than to tell stories with conflicting viewpoints. Use of the reader's critical sense is highly advised.

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