[Arc 3] Prologue: Desert of Dungeons
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"YAHOO!" - Garami

There's been a month since the Civil War for Velantas. We left the city after leaving Gust's care into the hands of cowboy-hat and his crew and set sail for the horizon. 

Quite literally, considering we're riding an All-Terrain Floatship. 

"Garami! Stop shaking this thing so much already!" - Noire

Seems like not everyone likes this child. Poor you, Mercenary...

Mercenary is around the size and shape of a fighter plane that lacks a roof. You can think of it as the child of a fighter-plane and a sportscar. It also has retractable, float-like legs, similar to those on a seaplane, which it stands on while not in use. Rows of wheels are located underneath these. And it's damn fast thanks to the two engines at each side on its rear-end.

There's luggage-room downstairs, and the "main deck" is outfitted with four rows that can hold up to three normal-sized humans at once, but we're limiting it to two on each row. Then there's the "cockpit", which I'm sitting in right now, commanding this beast.

"But Noire, if we stop now, the scorpions are going to catch us." - Revi

"I already know that! I just want her to keep this mechanical mayhem still for just a second so I can blast those f***ers into oblivion!" - Noire

Someone's got some aggression they need to release.

As for the current situation, we're in the desert in the western part of the Invidia continent. Velantas is located in the middle of it, by the way. And I must have bumped into a scorpion hive of some sort because loads of super-sized scorpion are after us. At least give us fries and a coke to go with those!

---

"Damn, why did we have to hit the only scorpion nest for miles?" - Noire

"Bad luck, I guess. Mostly for me," said Alf, who had been sleeping in the coffin in the luggage area while we were escaping the scorpions. Those swellings look painful. The scorpions ended up as a nice increase to my Material stock. I've got over 4,000 now~.

We're having lunch now underneath the tent so that I and Alf can get a break from the sun. The food's homemade by Revi, who took up the Cook Class before we left the city. A brilliant choice, if I should say so myself. Even more so since she studied under Marc during that time. *Munch, munch, munch*

"Garami, isn't it time for you to tell why we're out here in burnt-and-dry-land?" - Mira

Hmm? Didn't I tell them? I'm making tons of slips lately. Is the lack of action getting to me?

"Simply put, a Dungeon." - Garami

"...We're raiding one?" - Iron

"Nope. Building one." - Garami

.........Hmm? No response-?

"WHAAAAT!?" 

M-my ears... I think they scared away all the weaker creatures for miles.

"Did I seriously forget to tell you before?" - Garami

"Ehm, I think I've heard about it somewhere... if I did, then I must have forgotten it." - Mira

Hey, hey...

Well, the whole project's been a big secret, so I've must have unconsciously made sure that the info wouldn't be leaked by not telling anyone except for Armveil and Blot, with who I discussed the idea of making the Dungeon a source of income for the organization. 

Since no one could eavesdrop on us out here, I started from the beginning, about how I obtained the Dungeon Core from defeating Glavras, my wish for creating my own Dungeon (I left out the part getting scorched by the sun the first day in freedom), how I've gathered the items and info needed for this feat, and how Armveil and Blot have helped me figuring the location that would turn the Dungeon into a gold mine.

"...An oasis?" - Iron

"Basically, one of the few areas in the desert that one can find water." - Alf

"So, you think of selling water around this place?" - Mira

"More precisely, this is a  method to prevent people from crushing the Dungeon Core, if the worst should happen." - Garami

"...Why wouldn't they?" - Noire

"If the Dungeon goes, so will the water it creates. Without a reasonable place to refill water, it turns impossible to explore more of the desert." - Garami

"Ahh, I see."

It's a unanimous agreement to my idea. With over half of this Sekarot Desert being currently unexplored area, meaning that there'll be more than a few adventurers who want to keep this place intact so they can use it as a waterhole.

Of course, there's the potential case where they try to occupy the Dungeon for all its treasures and all, so I needed to get us deep enough into the desert so that people won't notice the Dungeon before we've prepared it for its world debut. 

"Then, is the place you wanted to make that... Dungeon?" - Revi

"Not quite here, but the scouts found a good location," I said, holding my arm out so the mentioned scout could land on it.

The scout is a Shadow Bone Owl, a D-rank Skeleton creature that excels in covert operations. They're a type of undeads I unlocked when I upgraded my Sub Class from Spectermancer to Necromancer, among others. The Shadow Bones series is one of those. Don't think they'll be any good in a direct fight though.

"There's a cave just a skip and a step from here. We're gonna look at the place after we've eaten." - Garami

"A cave? Finally some shade!" - Alf

I hear ya, buddy.

---

After lunch, locating the cave, and getting rid of its inhabitants, we were standing in the cave. It's not that big, just around the size of the Union Hall? Still big enough for its purpose. The best is that I can drop the stupid desert robe. It's damn heavy...

I took out the Dungeon Core and the three Magic Stones from my Storage.

The girls quickly stepped away from the Stones when I mentioned the second monster. Oh well. Dungeon Core, activate~.

SYSTEM MESSAGE:

Activation of Dungeon Core: unsuccessful. 

Have unrelated personal leave the nearby area, and try again.

Aw, come on...

"Hey, you guys. This thing seems a little shy, so can you take Mercenary and move away from here a little?"  - Garami

"Ehhh?" answered the others, but still left the cave. Alright, one more time...

SYSTEM MESSAGE:

Activation of Dungeon Core: successful. 

Now starting the generation of the Dungeon.

Jackpot!

SYSTEM MESSAGE:

Magic Stones located.

Absorbing Magic Stone: Kodokumo Emperor

Absorbing Magic Stone: Fata Morgana Snake

Absorbing Magic Stone: Slime Lord

Dungeon customization option: 100% unlocked.

Please select the Dungeon's Main-attribute, Sub-attribute, its Dungeon Type, and its three main Monster Lines.

Wait, what now?

Dungeon Customization:
Main/Sub-attribute options:
  • Darkness (Owner)
  • Water (Core)
  • Sand (Location)
  • Earth (Location)
  • Death (Core)
  • Heretic (Owner)
Dungeon Type options:
  • Cave (Location/Core)
  • Desert (Location)
  • Castle (Core)
  • Ruins (Core)
Monster Line options:
  • Demon (Owner)
  • Snake (Magic Stone)
  • Mucus (Magic Stone)
  • Arachnid (Magic Stone/Location)
  • Undead (Core/Owner)

Okaaaay... is there anyone here who can help me? No? Damn, that's right, I had to send them away... the Kigal-Note never said anything about this! I need some time to think here...

Kigal-Note: Dungeons

Dungeons:

A Dungeon is a special location that is created by a Dungeon Core by a person that acts as a Dungeon Master. The Dungeon produces treasures to lure humanoids into it, then kill them with the monsters of the Dungeon.

It is believed that the Dungeon converts corpses of intruders into energy, not that different from a normal animal. Even so, many people try to brave through these gauntlets of death in the hope of obtaining riches and glory.

Threats of a Dungeon:

The one thing most people think about when one asks them what dangers a Dungeon can inflict on mankind is monsters. And true to that statement, a Dungeon is housing several types of monsters within them. The monsters act as both guards and inhabitants of the Dungeon and will fight to the death to protect the Dungeon Core and the Dungeon Master.

The monsters that appear in a Dungeon are limited to what type of Dungeon it is. If the Dungeon is located in a forest, then plant-type and insect-type monsters are most likely to appear. Goblins and Trolls will have a higher chance of appearing in a mountain Dungeon. As for those located close to a graveyard, they have undeads.

Among these monsters are especially strong individuals called Floor Bosses and Dungeon Bosses. Some larger Dungeons are divided into several floors or areas, and each of these has the potential of housing a Floor Boss (or Area Boss), an especially strong individual compared to the rest of that floor/area's inhabitants. A Dungeon Monster is a notch above that again, as the "floor/area" it guards is the Dungeon itself.

Other threats regarding a Dungeon can be the various traps and potential cursed items the Dungeon can produce, but like with the monsters, these will not harm humanity as long as they stay holed up in the Dungeon

Creation of a Dungeon:

Anyone can become a Dungeon Master, the ruler of a Dungeon. To do so, they need a Dungeon Core, an S-rank rarity item that can create a Dungeon in a location that is rich in aether. The Dungeon will be randomly created, based on the location the Core was used in, the potential extra abilities of the Core, and the potential Dungeon Master themselves. However, by using up to 3 Magic Stones from C-rank monsters or above, one can control the construction of the Dungeon to certain degrees.

Garami's comment: It's not wrong, but I still feel there's something off here!

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