Fizzy was following after Boxxy while fidgeting slightly. It was the first time in 4 days since they’d met face to face, so she was a bit nervous. The spider-chest was currently leading her towards the newly created Dryad’s Domain hidden within a certain Hylt tree. However, it still lacked a good entry point, so they had to make their way there through the sewer. Xera and Kora had already mapped out the route so it wasn’t like they would get lost, but it was still a long trip.
“Di-did I do good, Boxxy?”
The golem finally asked the question that had been on her mind.
“Yeah, you did okay.”
“I’m glad. I didn’t get a chance to tell you in advance so I was a bit unprepared.”
The offer to assist a bunch of guilds with their training exercises for a day was a bit sudden, but she accepted it anyway since her orders were to make nice with the authorities. The extra paycheck was good to have as well, although she failed to realize that one of the guilds would be the Hidden Arrow that Boxxy was currently attending.
“I just… I wasn’t sure how you’d react so-”
“I said it was okay,” repeated the Mimic. “You didn’t treat me any differently, so they don’t seem to suspect a thing. It was a stupid exercise anyway.”
It was a total farce, in Boxxy’s opinion, although Faehorn seemed rather pleased with himself. The ‘spar’ that Faehorn had told them about turned into nothing but a glorified game of tag, whereby the unarmed golem had to chase down and capture her opponent. All of them were caught within a minute, regardless of how they tried to run or jump around the Consortium’s barren training ground. The bow-wielding Ranger students also found themselves completely unable to hit the small target that rapidly changed direction and could close the distance between them in an instant. Even if one of them managed to get a lucky shot in, the arrow would just bounce harmlessly off her skin.
Her lustrous, flawless, sparkling mithril skin.
“So shiny…” it mumbled, causing Fizzy to squirm a little in delight.
She knew that Boxxy was actively probing her insides, marveling at the tough-yet-light metal that was also called ‘white gold.’ Having the attention of thousands of people felt good, great even. However, that couldn’t compare to being laid bare to the extreme before her Hero. It was a sensation that felt positively divine.
“Y-your acting was way too good though,” she said after a few more minutes of trudging through sewer tunnels. “I completely couldn’t tell it was you, even though I knew it was. I almost thought I had the wrong person!”
“Yeah. I still have a long way to go, though,” lamented Boxxy.
The monster had learned much from Snack on the way to the capital. As both a Doppelganger and a Mimic, it naturally learned best through mimicking the actions of others. The succubus had taken on many different forms and guises to demonstrate the proper way to act in civilized society, and Boxxy had etched her mannerisms into its memory. It had learned much about how to convince others it was a real person and not a monster that would probably eat them in a heartbeat.
People, as it found out, were inherently flawed. They had concerns and worries, things they liked and disliked, motivations and fears that drove them to act a certain way, personal quirks that made them likeable to a certain type of people, yet infuriating to others. A real person would be able to do certain things naturally, but would perform poorly at others. Therefore, Boxxy couldn’t just go through life with a dumb smile on its face at all times. Learning which expression goes with each situation was difficult, especially when taking into account its fabricated persona. It also had to display strong opinions on topics it genuinely cared nothing about, but only when the time was right. Still, it more or less had the hang of it by now, although it was rather stiff and awkward the first few days after it actually began its infiltration. A fact which somehow ended up helping its cause rather than hindering it.
“Oh, is that it?!” asked Fizzy when the pair arrived at the giant, half-eaten tree root that Kora and Xera had found last night.
“That’s it. I’ll go in first, you climb in after me.”
Boxxy and its devout follower went into the tree root and started clambering up the cramped tunnel. The Mimic could have just thrown Fizzy into its Storage and transported her with the Transfamiliar Spell, but the golem needed to know the way in and out of this place so that she could come and go as needed. At least until it found an easier way to access it. It took them another short while, but they eventually made it out of the tunnel and into the former termite nest.
You have now entered Dryad’s Domain.
An intruder has entered your dungeon.
Boxxy suddenly realized that, although its familiars were considered extensions of itself, Fizzy wasn’t. She was a completely separate entity, and was not welcomed into the dungeon with open arms. Which meant that the newly appointed dungeon master would probably not like her presence here.
“Who goes there?!”
And indeed, the dryad in question practically leapt out of the nearby wall, her face twisted with anger as if she were ready to strangle a bitch. It immediately softened when she saw Boxxy, though.
“My liege,” she greeted it with a deep bow. “‘Tis good to see thou art in good health.”
“Hey Ambrosia,” it greeted back. “I see the dungeon is growing steadily.”
“‘Tis so, milord. It has almost completely encompassed mine entire body. The Surveillance Net and thy servants have been extremely effective in finding and culling the vile vermin that inhabited mine bark.”
“Yes, I know. You’ve done a good job so far.”
The Mimic more or less knew about her actions since it had been tracking things remotely through the Surveillance Net. It had also managed to acquire the Butcher of Termites Perk in the meantime, meaning its familiars had slain over 5,000 of the things over the last day. Its Warlock Job Levels barely even progressed though. Not only were these opponents far too weak, but killing them by proxy while it was far away meant the actual XP it had gotten was greatly diminished. Thinking back on the big boom at Monotal, it probably would have gotten a lot more Levels if it was closer to the explosion. Then again, there was a good chance it wouldn’t have actually survived the event if it did that, so it didn’t feel bad about its decision.
“Milord, what is this accursed being thou had brought into the Dryad’s Domain?”
The dryad was pointing rudely at the gnome-shaped golem, clearly disproving of her being here.
“You got a problem, mosshead?” replied Fizzy with obvious hostility.
“Thou art tainted with foul magic, and do not belong in this sacred place.”
It would seem the dryad was able to sense the curse permeating through the golem’s body. Her condition had naturally caused quite a stir among the adventurer community, as it was an extremly curious and exceptional case. Fizzy was actually a bit worried people who didn’t know how to mind their business would forcefully try to dispel the curse from her. However, she later found out that the curse was so deeply ingrained within her body, that it would be impossible to remove it through conventional means. Even cutting off the cursed gauntlet and purifying her body would not to return her to the flesh she so willingly and eagerly threw away.
Which was good news for the former gnome. Because while she liked her steel body, she absolutely loved her new-and-improved mithril self. The Rank Up had finally let her become perfectly attuned to it and to the strange instincts that welled up within her, which meant she no longer involuntarily stripped. She still took off her clothes in public sometimes, but that was a result of her own conscious decision rather than some strange reflex. This change also meant she became considerably more aggressive, especially towards people who looked down on her.
“We’ll see how sacred it is when I whittle it down to a stick and shove it up your ass!”
“Thou shalt regret-!”
“That’s enough!” shouted Boxxy, causing both monsters to shut up. It had chosen to intervene before things had gotten out of hand. Having its minions pointlessly go at each other’s throats was neither smart nor useful.
“Fizzy, you’re technically an intruder here, so don’t antagonize my dungeon master.”
“Yes, Boxxy. Sorry, Boxxy.”
“And Ambrosia, this is Fizzy. She is one of my servants, so you will treat and address her with the same respect you show me. Are we clear?”
“Yes, milord. This one apologizes for her rude words, milady Fizzy.”
The dryad gave a deep bow, as if her snide attitude from moments ago was a lie.
“Doth milord and milady have any other use of me?”
“Not right now.”
“Uhm… No, I’m good…”
“Then I shall return to attending to milord’s other servants.”
The plant-lady disappeared into the ground with another polite bow.
“Wow!” exclaimed Fizzy. “So this is what that core does to people, huh?”
“Yup,” said Boxxy nonchalantly.
Dungeon cores were a curious thing whereby each and every monster bound to its service would have their perceptions twisted into believing the dungeon was absolute. This was something the shapeshifting chest understood firsthand, which was why it didn’t want Fizzy as its dungeon master. The golem would not be useful if she was forever bound to a dungeon, and had already pledged herself into its service, so having her fill that role would be counter-productive.
However, this ancient-yet-naive dryad had willingly become ensnared by it. It was honestly surprising to see how quickly she recognized Boxxy as the supreme authority within her own body. Which was good, because the Mimic honestly couldn’t trust her, nor did it want to be on hostile terms with her. Although the dungeon core’s Basic Appraisal of her was unable to tell her Skills and Attributes, what it did reveal still told a rather terrifying story.
A Level 50 Primordial Spirit, Level 50 Tree Spirit, Level 100 Semi-divine Being, Level 100 Dryad and Level 100 Hamadryad. Over 30,000 years old and with a staggering Level of 400, she had clearly reached the zenith of her evolutionary path. But most terrifying of all, was her literally infinite HP. She was not only immortal, but outright indestructible so long as her tree was in good health and she remained in close proximity to it. And yet, despite all that, she was strangely powerless in the face of some termites. It would seem even Ambrosia, a being that could rightfully be called a demigod, had some things she could not deal with. A harsh truth that applied to all things, probably even the actual Gods themselves.
|General Information||Basic Functions||Advanced Features|
|Owner||Boxxy T. Morningwood||Name||Status||Name||Status|
|Core ID||PT-5484-BM||Dungeon Expansion||Active||Guardian Assignment||Ready|
|Core Status||Active (Dryad’s Domain)||Item Allocation||Disabled||Nexus Access||Ready|
|Dungeon Master||Ambrosia||Mana Collection||Active||Prison Management||Ready|
|Integrity||96%||Monster Spawner||Disabled||Terrain Sculpting||Ready|
|MP||20,000/20,000 (+0.0/sec)||Surveillance Net||Active||Trap Construction||Ready|
Not much had changed since it last checked on the dungeon, other than the Integrity had improved a little and that the Mana Collection had auto-regulated itself to prevent the core from overloading. The dungeon’s ever-expanding sphere of influence had at one point allowed the core to absorb nearly 120 MP per second from the surrounding area. And although that seemed a lot, it actually wasn’t.
Regulating the Monster Spawner, for example, could demand up to 30 MP per second in order to perform its function to the fullest. It wasn’t needed right now, though, as the only monsters that could appear within this tree naturally were termites, and Ambrosia and the demons already had a handle on those. The Surveillance Net, on the other hand, had a very light, almost insignificant upkeep.
However, the advanced features were even more taxing than that. Although Terrain Sculpting and Nexus Access were functions that consumed a chunk of MP with each use, each trap, guardian or prisoner would be a constant drain on this precious resource. That’s why Boxxy had to make sure it didn’t strain this place too hard. Even if the brainwashing on Ambrosia appeared to be working as intended, it didn’t want to push its luck and drive her to starvation. A monster driven to starvation would definitely try to break free from its dungeon, as not even the core could completely suppress its survival instincts. Heck, that was how Boxxy broke free of its dungeon in the first place. Therefore, it decided it would only do as much as was necessary, and no more.
And first things first, it needed to provide Fizzy with a place to stay, as well as a good way for her to move around this place.
“Terrain Sculpting!” it chanted.
The wooden surface of the surrounding cavern suddenly became covered in countless, bright blue lines, as if someone had covered the walls and floor with a net of light. The golem next to it didn’t seem to react, meaning this was most likely only something it could see. It walked over to a good-looking spot in the ground and made a gesture with a tentacle as if it was lifting something off the ground. Part of the intangible wire mesh suddenly jumped in response to its actions, which was followed by creaking and rumbling sounds as the wooden surface twisted itself to conform to the new shape. It took only a second to form a gigantic pillar of wood that was over 15 meters tall.
“Woah! That’s so cool!” exclaimed Fizzy.
Boxxy turned its attention towards the gnome and realized that the lines only it could see around her were tinged red. It would appear that the dungeon core was unwilling to perform terrain changes if there was an intruder within 5 meters of the spot, probably as some sort of failsafe mechanism. That crystal ball had a lot of those to make sure that the one using it didn’t accidentally cause a calamity. The God of Causality probably knew of a way to bypass those safety measures by force, as the Mimic realized it was normally impossible to overload the core with mana even if it wanted to.
“Fizzy, stand back,” it ordered, “I have to build a thing.”
“Ah! You got it Boxxy!”
The offending golem walked further away, allowing Boxxy to finish what it was doing. It extended the wooden pillar further upward, steadily draining away thousands of the core’s MP reserves. The Mana Collection automatically kicked into high gear and began replenishing them at a rate of 135.6 MP per second. The impossibly tall wooden pillar was attached with branch-like growths to the surrounding caves, plateaus and walls, which would serve both to keep it from collapsing under its own weight and as well as providing access to those parts of the dungeon. The massive wooden pole was then steadily turned into a grand circular staircase. Boxxy and Fizzy started climbing it as the monster made some adjustments here and there as it saw fit.
Ambrosia: Milord! What art thou doing down there?!
This window that popped up into the Mimic’s consciousness was a communication function of the Surveillance Net that allowed notable individuals within the dungeon to exchange messages. It wasn’t quite as convenient as the telepathic link with its familiars and consumed a negligible amount of MP, but it was still very useful. The monster briefly wondered why the dryad used this instead of showing up in person, but it didn’t really matter much.
Boxxy: I’m just making your insides a bit more accessible. Is it unpleasant?
Ambrosia: Nay, though it doth tickle verily!
Boxxy: I’ll be done soon, so please bear with it.
Ambrosia: Understood, milord.
Boxxy kept climbing the ever-growing staircase until it reached the platform where the dungeon core was. It was a good 120 meter climb, although neither it nor Fizzy were tired in the slightest. A monster’s endurance really was on a different level.
“Oh, so that’s the core?” asked the golem while looking up at the yellow orb floating in mid-air.
It bathed the surroundings in a bright light, almost as if it were a miniature sun. She had spotted the glow from the base of the impossibly tall chamber since it was the only source of light, but seeing it up close was really something else. Her eyes still had trouble penetrating the darkness, so she had to rely on a flashlight she made to assist her vision. However, that wouldn’t be a problem so long as this thing shone its reliable light on her.
Boxxy was also slightly taken aback by the sight before it. Not only was the dungeon core shining with its favorite color, but it also made Fizzy’s mithril frame practically dazzle and sparkle. It wanted to lick and touch her all over, wrap itself around her and keep her to itself for all eternity. Well, it would get plenty of chance to do that in the future if it played its cards right, so it withheld itself and turned its attention to the scene that was developing directly underneath the dungeon core.
Although Kora and Xera were busy performing lewd acts as expected, it would appear they have mixed things up for once. The succubus was currently suspended in mid-air, with numerous vines wrapped tight around her arms and legs. They were violating all her holes at once, while also simultaneously whipping her plush ass cheeks and mercilessly groping and mauling her soft breasts. It was a blatantly obvious recreation of Boxxy’s ‘Shapeshift practice’ from awhile back, and the wanton slut was enjoying every moment of it.
Kora on the other hand was sitting off to the side, with her legs spread wide and Ambrosia’s face buried in her crotch. All four of the demon’s hands were hanging onto the antlers on top of the dryad’s head and forced it up and down her engorged length as she eagerly fucked her face. The plant lady’s throat bulged out obscenely as it stretched to accommodate the fiend’s impressive girth, but she neither struggled nor protested.
“What the hell are you doing?!” asked Fizzy when she saw the bizarre scene.
Since Boxxy’s familiars were extensions of its magic power, the dungeon core recognized them as co-owners, of a sort. As a result, they could access all of the core’s functions, although Boxxy had forbidden them from doing so without permission. It also meant that the dungeon master - in this case Ambrosia - would willingly and eagerly obey any order they gave her. And it was quite clear that they had told her to ‘attend’ to their needs.
“Oh! Hey - Umpf! - squirt!” called out Kora in-between grunts. “I’m just- Umpf! - breaking in - Umpf! - the new girl’s throat! Umpf!”
“Yeah! I can see that! But why?!”
“Well, she - Umpf! - doesn’t have - Umpf! - anything between her legs - Umpf! - so I’m making do! Umpf! It’s surprisingly - Umpf! - hot though, so - Umpf! - I don’t mind!”
“That’s not what I- Okay, never mind!”
“No, for real! Umpf! She swallows like a champ! Umpf! Watch!”
The fiend then growled and roared as she ejaculated down Ambrosia’s throat, who just sort of stood there and gulped it down as if it were her mission in life.
“Ugh,” scowled Fizzy as she turned away in disgust. Those meatbag processes were as repulsive ever.
Boxxy on the other hand didn’t really care one way or the other. Its sex drive was still as non-existent as ever. Although it did learn to find some pleasure in the act recently, eating tasty things or playing with shiny things were far more enjoyable in its opinion. Still, it had work to do, so it quickly made the girls stop their antics and gave them their orders.
Arms and Snack were to help the golem set up an Artificer workshop, including a forge, but using the dungeon core’s power. Boxxy then laid out some spike and dart traps around the entrance to the sewers that should be enough to take care of any wandering creature or vagrant that stumbled onto this place. They’d also activate when Fizzy used the passage, but her mithril hide would have no problems deflecting that level of damage. The dungeon core would maintain and re-arm the traps as needed, so Boxxy didn’t need to give them any special attention.
The Mimic wanted to build a few more things, but the dungeon core was rapidly running out of MP, not to mention that the monster was running late and had places to be. It therefore decided to wrap things up for the day and return to maintaining its facade as an apprentice Ranger. The Job itself was more than just a cover, of course, as the Mimic legitimately thought it would be a great asset to its toolkit. Unlike that other Job its Cadaver Absorption picked up a few weeks ago, or the thoroughly useless Divine Attunement Skill it got off a Priest. Well, the former turned out to be a bit convenient in some unexpected ways, while the latter unlocked the advanced Faith (FTH) Attribute, so it wasn’t like their acquisition was a bad thing.
The spider-chest leapt over to the edge of the plateau it was standing on and clung onto the far wall. It used a combination of Terrain Sculpting and Dungeon Expansion to make a tunnel into the side of the tree, one that led straight to the outside. The narrow passage opened up into the side of the Hylt tree’s trunk, with nothing immediately around it. The city of Azurvale stretched out underneath, dyed a vibrant shade of red by the setting sun, meaning its position was actually much higher than it thought at first.
After getting its bearings and making sure to memorize this entrance’s position, Boxxy sealed the tunnel behind it, turning it into a very shallow cave that was still technically part of the dungeon. In the future, it would just need to enter this tight space and transport itself into the dungeon proper through Nexus Access. That way, even if this hole-in-the-tree was discovered, nobody would be able to gain entry through it. Realizing that the rectangular hole it made in the side of the tree was clearly unnatural on its own, it decided to camouflage it with a special door courtesy of the Trap Construction module.
Satisfied that its secret entrance was now complete, it changed its coloration to dark brown, matching that of the bark behind it, then climbed down the tree. On second thought, it might have to revise this entrance’s location as it felt exposed, but it was probably good enough for now. It passed by the tallest branch with people living on it, and kept going down until it reached a lonely, cheap-looking house built into the side of the Hylt tree.
Standing in front of its fake home, it actually found itself looking forward to getting some actual rest instead of pretending to sleep while working on its Meditation Skill. It had the effect of passively increasing its automatic MP recovery, so it was well worth the effort. Still, these past few days had been slightly more mentally draining than usual, so it decided to take its bi-weekly dose of sleep a bit earlier than usual. It quickly ducked behind the house and changed into its fabricated persona, the same one it had been adopting ever since a week ago. Once it was sure its form was complete, it opened its Storage and deftly took out some clothes and chainmail armor, which it put on immediately. After making itself decent, it walked around the house while equipping a set of three high-grade magic items it acquired on the way to the capital.
Your mass has been reduced by 40%.
Your weight has been reduced by 40%.
Your resistance to electricity has increased by 15%.
Satisfied with the trio of silver rings on its slender right hand, it started releasing lust-inducing pheromones, put on its ‘game face’ and opened the front door boldly.
“Honey, I’m home!” it called out in a cheerful voice.
“Welcome back, Keira,” answered Rowana with a wide smile.
|General Information||Attributes||Job Information|
|Name||Boxxy T. Morningwood||Name||Value||Name||Value||Name||Level||Progress|
|Assassination||10||MAX||Summon Familiar||10||MAX||Essence Concealment||1||MAX|
|Natural Armor||10||MAX||Chant Reduction||2||52%||Meditation||4||41%|
|Metal Mimicry||9||57%||Demonic Insight||3||79%||Sword Mastery||7||74%|
|Mend Flesh||10||MAX||Clockwork Expertise||5||54%||Projectile Mastery||8||52%|
|Adaptive Defense||5||34%||Explosives Handling||3||72%||Dagger Mastery||10||MAX|
|Acid Spray||10||MAX||Deconstruction||3||21%||Ruin Mastery||11||15%|
|Divine Attunement||4||10%||Tracking||2||53%||Domination Mastery||7||51%|
|Feline Agility||6||95%||Marksman||3||51%||Shield Mastery||7||83%|
|Mirror Image||5||63%||Chaotic Disposition||1||MAX||Staff Mastery||5||32%|
|Pheromone Control||2||74%||Agent of Chaos||1||MAX||Bow Mastery||4||74%|
|Spell List||Martial Arts List|
|Shadowbolt||Mass Panic||Implosion||Power Shot|
|Dark Explosion||Mind Blast|