[Vol. 1 pt. 20] Advanced Tactics
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Any parts of the centipede’s exoskeleton that weren’t used as protective armor by my new ooze were taken to the back of the dungeon’s territory for safekeeping. As for all the pointy leg bits and leftover stinger – well, I had ideas for them, but I didn’t know how to do what I wanted with them yet. For example, the thought of sticking them upward at the bottom of one of my pitfall traps was something I would have liked to do. That way, anything that fell down would fall onto them.

That was when I did get an idea for how to accomplish that.

If my ooze could hold onto pieces of armor with its new tentacles, why couldn’t it hold onto the spiky legs?

And so, I rearranged my monsters a bit. My construct was kicked out of the first pitfall trap so that the ooze could move in. At the bottom of the pitfall trap, my ooze created enough tentacles to hold onto all of the spare legs and stinger. Each one was pointed upward so that any enemies who fell into the hole would get impaled, or stabbed at the very least, upon falling into it. If they survived, my ooze had its armor to protect it and then there was the fact that it was made out of burning slime in the first place. Or should I say that it was made out of burning ooze? If a slime is made out of slime, is an ooze made out of ooze even if they’re basically the same thing save for some minor differences?

I don’t know. I’ll probably switch back and forth between them without realizing.

As for my construct, it didn’t seem to mind being kicked out of its hole too much since that meant it got to stick closer to me at the back of the dungeon.

Sometimes I was tempted to let my construct carry me around since I occasionally caught it looking jealously at my aurbold when she would hold me, but I was worried that my construct would accidentally crush me in its hands. It had very, very little restraint and I knew just how powerful it was.

Not even that centipede could make my construct budge.

Moving on, my strategic planning was even rewarded with a special trait that I could unlock.

Research Requirements Met
Research Tree -> Dungeon Core -> Mind Bonuses -> Intelligence Bonuses
Strategic Thinking
Increases your ability to strategically think.
+1 Aether Generation
+2 Aether Pool
Trait: Critical Thinking
Use strategy to defeat at least one challenging threat.
Use strategy to bolster your dungeon’s defenses.
Observe another intelligent being employ strategic thinking.
Reach 250 total Dungeon Points.
100 Dungeon Points

Killing the centipede with all of my monsters working together checked off that first requirement. Sticking my ooze into the bottom of the pitfall trap with all of those new, pointy sticks of it counted for the second requirement. Seeing my ooze use its tentacles to hold onto the centipede’s exoskeleton for armor was the third requirement. The rest is simple.

I accepted the trait.

So many new ideas instantly popped into my mind.

Even if was coming up with strategies and plans before, they were nothing compared to all of the new ideas entering my head.

Well, I still didn’t have a mind nor head at the time.

Anyways, the point is that I seriously started thinking about strategies and how to best succeed. My thoughts before were still very much instinctual and basic even if I did have the capability to critically think. Now, I had the ability to properly make use of my critical thinking. My strategy against the centipede would be like child’s play compared to my next plans!

Not only that, but I was about to undergo even more change.

New Achievement
Founded Dungeon
You have successfully become a Founded-rank Dungeon Core.
Reward: “Dungeon Legend I” trait

Essentially, I ranked up – or rather, I evolved in a way without even realizing I was about to. There was no window asking for me to accept the evolution, telling me what the requirements were, nor anything else similar to when my monsters evolved. I just got the achievement and that was it.

I decided to check up on that new trait I got.

Dungeon Legend I
With your successful growth to a Founded-rank Dungeon Core, you have taken the next step to becoming a dungeon of legend. Be warned, for the stronger you grow, the more severe the threats will be and the more others will wish to come and take what is yours. Your battle for survival in this world has only just begun.
+4 Aether Generation
+8 Aether Pool
Monument Construction Available

There were two things that I took away from that.

One, I really liked the concept of “legend.” It may or may not be obvious to you by now, but I still love that word and its meaning. It just sounds so nice and carries a great meaning. Every man should strive to be a man of legends!

Two, the increased aether generation and aether pool was much welcomed. It was only slightly worse than what I could get from that “Aether Leeching” trait. Furthermore, having this boost would help me get that one when it comes to its requirement of generating five hundred total aether.

The most annoying requirement became having to convert twenty-five aether-rich items into dungeon points and aether.

Fortunately, that large room I expanded my territory into had more of those crystals around for me to take from. I just had to get to them, first.

I ordered my aurbold to take me back to the new entrance of my territory.

Time for some more of that “strategic thinking.”

This also meant discovering a whole new way to setup my dungeon, its rooms, and its hallways.