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It is a period of survival war.

Demonic World Bosses, striking

from open positions all around

constantly seek victory

against the human Guardians

of Speranza city.

 

During the siege, the defenders'

Dungeon Core managed to

prepare secret plans to an

ultimate weapon, the

BRICKS WINDOWS, an armored

spider Mecha with enough

power to destroy an entire...

something? (not yet tested!)

 

Besieged by the Infernali's

sinister monsters, Princess

Skip (HEY!) races to battle aboard her (HEY!!)

new Mecha, custodian of the

seed of Yggdrasil that can save

humanity and restore

peace on Earth...

 

No, seriously. What is this about me being a Princess? Do I get any bonus? Some points? No? Fuck you too, scrolling yellow letters.

 

*


*

 

The third set of walls was 72 miles long. We had 640 defenders, with some prospective recruits being vetted by Marshall, including the Ranger teens. I hope they earn the "power" to fight for justice. I think I can project a distorted head into a glass cylinder. If I make an LCD screen, a larger cylinder... Then I need a goofy robot assistant. Yeah, doable. Wait, no. I don't want a C&D letter.

What I meant before my brain went on a tangent, was that we couldn't defend all corridors with the people we had. Which meant more than half the wall was defended by me.

Bricks Windows, or the "Bitchy Spider Of Doom", walked in the open countryside. Its legs were 80 feet long and could thump the ground with the power of a thousand industrial jackhammers. But most of the time, the process was smooth. Smoother now that I was calibrating the sensors and motion drivers with telemetry data. I was getting better at it. The fact I was almost fifty times smarter and could think that much faster too helped a lot.

The servos would shift the weight around by making minute adjustments to the height of the legs. That allowed the Mecha to move smoothly and stealthily if needed. The Point-Defense lasers on the underbelly had both an optic recognition system that detected the legs and was also linked to the telemetry data from the Mecha's sensor suite. They knew when a leg was in their firing path and cut the beam to avoid slagging the leg. The redundancy was there in case one of the systems failed. I could press the laser's internal kill switch with a thought but why risk it? Also, why waste a slot of Dungeon Automation when normal automation did the job?

 

> Your knowledge and training improved your Command and Conquer Skill to rank III — Increase artillery range by linear (5*Rank)%.

> Your knowledge and training improved your Mecha Operations Skill to rank VI — The Weapons and systems of the Mecha you personally pilot consume (5*Rank)% less energy.

 

I grinned (no lips) at the improvements. The 30% reduction in power draw was a godsend to my batteries. Too bad it was only for the mecha I piloted. Some Skill ranks affected all Mecha I operated. It was a nuanced distinction. I could operate a Mecha without piloting it, like Hugging Momma floating above us.

I tested the efficiency of the PD lasers as Bricks Windows waded into the horde. Oh, Mass Murderer, how I miss you. I noticed several beans glassing the ground so I adjusted the Mecha's height down, to fire as horizontally as possible. This way, the excess energy would go into the next monster instead of the ground. The lesser Infernali, as always, lacked any survival instincts. But with as much Armor my Perks gave the spider, they could chew on metal for a century and wouldn't dent the machine.

I sensed when the Domains disconnected. I was almost a mile away from the breakwater walls now and my personal Domain didn't reach the city anymore. The DCSC behind me came to life and burned 5 DM out of its storage to maintain the link with its sister machine in the land train. And the other is up inside Hugging Momma. The three formed a triangle but so long they were in the same chain, the distance was irrelevant. I could even dump DCSC outposts out there to extend the range.

Some Infernali changed courses and rushed to my Mana signature. I spared some Materialization bandwidth to absorb the corpses but spare the Mana stones in a radius of 75 feet around each leg. Then, using Invisible Crane, I sent the stone to my storage. The synergy between Perks and traits led to the range count from the outer hull of the Mecha, not my physical location. Otherwise, I would pick only stones directly underneath Bricks Windows. But since my aura extended from the Mecha I was piloting, it was like an extension of my body. Thus 75 feet away from me meant 75 feet away from the mecha I was piloting.

Picking up the stones this way was rather wasteful. With 1 MP, I could move 69 cubic inches into our Storage. The stones were way smaller than that but I needed to pay for each stone. The MP costs started to rake up and I decided to only pick up those from level 60 or higher monsters. The remainder would be consumed for DM on the spot.

I could make a quadcopter drone swarm to pick those things for me, couldn't I? Yeah, a project for later. I needed a controller, positioning antennas, a pathfinding algorithm, program for the lasers to not kill my own drones... Whoa, that's a lot of work to save some MP. But I was going to ditch Dimensional Porter, wasn't I? I needed those drones, or I would leave half the Mana lying on the floor, figuratively.

But I would code the drone swarm control algorithm. I could even deploy them with laser cannons and shoot at stuff from above.

Night fell and I kept sweeping the demons, calibrating the telemetry and sensor data, and uploading backups to the computers back home. Bricks Windows was awesome to pilot and the freedom of leaving my Dungeon without causing everything behind to collapse was sublime. I fought all night long and until the next dawn, reaping in the Mana. I was earning more from the magic stones absorbed than I spent fighting, not to mention the ones I was keeping in storage.

 

*


*

 

Bricks Windows climbed on a hill. Demons climbed it in a frenzy but the PD lasers kept them away. I focused on the distance. The ring of Kaiju demons and the humanoid ones was in sight, right near the horizon.

I animated the main Railgun cannon on the back and it lifted up in the air as the docking claws released it. Small legs and arms dangled as decorative charms from the cannon but they were fully robotic.

The massive 120-foot-long magnetic weapon floated in the air like a plume and I shifted my sight to it. I aimed at one of the humanoid demons, adjusted for distance, gravity, and wind speed. The coils heated up as they primed for the firing sequence. A sonic boom erupted from the cannon's mouth, causing a ring of supercondensed water vapors. Then the armor-piercing shell was off. It flew in a ballistic trajectory, slightly elongated because of its aerodynamic properties.

Seconds later, it struck. A shield made of linked hexagons appeared in front of the demon and the shaped charge triggered. The explosion inside the bloated head of the projectile forced the metal in the middle forward by applying pressure from all sides. The projectile broke the shield and vaporized the demon's head.

 

> For killing level 150 Damniablo, you gained 5 Experience Points. You gained 35 Dungeon Mana.

 

Whoa. These guys gave Experience points? I had to farm them! Only 2,800 boss monsters to level! The low amount of Dungeon Mana was due to the distance to the kill. Most of the Mana was lost along the way.

The death of one of its officers sent the Demon army into a frenzy. The Jabberwocks expanded their portals, allowing more of the lesser ones to come through. Some Damniablos made a move to go forward but a Wobby Dick moaned and they went back to their positions. They were meant to defend the Jabberwocks and the summoning portals, not to fight back.

Welp, their loss. The super-Gauss cannon fired again. This time, five shields appeared in front of the Damniablo. The projectile pierced through three and cracked the fourth. No damage whatsoever was caused. But two could play this game. I changed the calibration on the railgun coil controller. Then, using the buff from Fire for Effect, I fired two shells with only a few seconds of interval.

Once again the shields sprang in front of my target. Five of them. They knew it was one more than they needed to defend their fellow Damniablo. The shell did the same as before but it only broke three shields. The fourth held. Right after, the second shell impacted two shields, blowing the ground behind my very dead target.

 

> For killing level 155 Damniablo, you gained 11 Experience Points. You gained 39 Dungeon Mana.

 

Yes! Look, eleven Experience Points for one kill! It's heating up! Not.

I had adjusted the Railgun to fire the first shell with slightly less speed than the second, timing them to reach the target within a few dozen milliseconds of each other. I needed to calibrate the angle and stuff but it wasn't too hard. On the next target, they layered ten shields. I could barely see the target behind all those superimposed translucent hexagons. Before the shells reached the target, one laser cannon on each of Bricks Windows arms fired at the target, overwhelming the shields. Each laser removed two shields and then the shells struck home.

 

> For killing level 152 Damniablo, you gained 7 Experience Points. You gained 39 Dungeon Mana.

> Your knowledge and training improved your Command and Conquer Skill to rank IV — The weapons and equipment of units under your command degrade (6*Rank)% slower.

 

We could do this all day. Or all year, depending on how many kills to level I needed. Also, the Skill ranks really helped. Despite minute, the improvements with each rank were noticeable.

 

*


*

 

A Wobby Dick floated five hundred feet above the ground, three miles ahead of the Jabberwocks. The damn tentacle monsters hadn't moved even when I scored a hit on one of them, blowing up one of the heads. I think their focus is entirely on the portals. After I did some real damage to their forces with that, the damn demon whale swam in the air.

That's cheating!

They also started porting out some demon giraffes with stiff necks and a head that looked like Junji Ito had blended a Venus fly trap, a shark, and a leech all at once. Six green leaves full of teeth that opened to reveal a hole going down all the way to the monster's torso. Yeah, the Cannoraffe was the Infernali biological artillery unit. Why were all of them perversions of Earth animals? Or were the Earth's animals not as original to this planet as we thought?

The damn Cannoraffes worked like this. It lowered its head, ate one of the lesser Infernali lying around, then spat a ball of chitin and flesh that vaguely resembled the eaten monster. A volley of thirty such cannonballs flew my way and I had no wish to see what it could do or test Bricks Windows' armor. I erected a hemisphere of steel and infused it to become Dungeon walls, leaving an opening at the back to keep the "access the Core" rule. The dome sank into the earth with each blast as the cannonballs exploded against the reinforced steel. At the end of the volley, the dome was pressing on Bricks Windows' cannons.

Under the cover of the armored floating whale, the battalion of Cannoraffes and several Damniablos marched forward in an organized formation. The lesser Infernali kept rushing past them but not in the middle. They couldn't or wouldn't control the lesser demons but obviously could direct and give basic instructions to them. This group was coming... straight at me.

Good. I worried that they would attempt an assault on the city. I dissolved the shield. The eldritch giraffes couldn't shoot with the whale covering them but I also had a poor line of sight for a ballistic shot and no range for direct ones. I fired some laser shots to probe their defenses. The Damniablos cast their shields moments after the laser was fired. Some energy passed through but it was milliseconds of exposure. While it did some damage to the target before the shield went up, it was superficial.

I couldn't commit to a more direct approach before I determined what the Wobby Dicks did. So far I only saw them rein in the Damniablos by moaning. Which out of context sound like some BDSM shit. But no, it's all PG-13. Using the main flying Railgun, I fired some shots at the whale. Shields appeared to defend and I noted it came from the Damniablos below.

Okay. Let's see who has more juice. I issued the commands to Dungeon Automation, eating ten slots of rules temporarily.

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About the author

MDW

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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