[Vol. 1 pt. 21] Advanced Tactics
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Well, I suppose that there was one more thing I took away from that trait information. It was the whole you’re-going-to-be-in-even-more-danger-now thing. But that’s not too important.

What is important is that I have realized I’m conflicted about how should I be referring to my dungeon – to me. I am a dungeon core. My dungeon is – well, it is my dungeon. It is not me, but it is a part of me. My dungeon and its territory are like my limbs, and I am its heart.

This is why I am conflicted. Should I be referring to my dungeon as “my dungeon,” or should I just be referring to it as “me?”

With my previous analogy of the dungeon itself being like my limbs, I suppose that either could work. In the same way that you could say “a magma hound bit me,” you could also say “a magma hound bit my leg.”

So, perhaps I am simply overthinking it right now. Either works. For simplicity’s sake, though, I will continue referring to my dungeon specifically instead of just referring to it as me. That should also make it less confusing for when I have actual limbs.

Oh. Right. Speaking of me getting limbs and evolving in general, I did change as a result of my latest little evolution.

How did I change, you might be asking?

Well, you see, I started glowing.

Yeah. That was it. All that happened was that I started glowing. It was a faint, red and black glow. Perhaps calling it a “glow” would be inappropriate since something can’t glow black. Instead, let us simply say that I was surrounded by mystical energy – by raw aether. Raw, black and red aether.

You know, thinking back to how I used to look… I can completely understand why people used to think I was evil. Black and red are pretty dark colors usually associated with dangerous or bad things. Yet, there I was, surrounded in a black and red aura of aether.

At least my aurbold didn’t mind. No matter how evil my aura might have looked, she still licked me and held me close to her.

None of my monsters cared, really. If anything, they all seemed happy and excited that I had evolved. Not a single one looked worried nor judged me in any way. Then again, I was basically their god, so that made sense.

It wouldn’t have mattered if I was the most evil or most holy being alive. I was the equivalent of a god to them either way.

There would be many different types of worship over time.

Now, back to the dungeon.

Standing at the edge of my territory, I noticed that the red crystal by the magma pool in my tunnel was already starting to grow back. Several more crystals were available directly outside of my territory, too, but reaching them was what was going to be a problem. I couldn’t just keep on expanding in straight lines.

Well, I could for now. One more expansion to the west and then claiming it as my territory would be enough to bring three more of those crystals, and three more of those magma pools and plants, into my territory.

That was what I did. I then relied on my construct to take care of the plants’ tendrils that tried attacking it. The plants weren’t able to melt down my construct’s body nor were their tendrils powerful enough to restrict its limbs, so all my construct had to do to kill the plants was crush them within its hands.

I made sure to give it the order to be careful with the bulbs, though. I didn’t want it damaging any of those internal seeds.

Three more clusters of crystals were within our grasp once my construct finished off the annoying plants trying to bait us with them. Each cluster was mined free by the construct using the iron sword’s guard.

Needless to say, the sword was completely ruined by the time that my construct was done “mining” with it. There was just no way that it would ever serve as anything useful ever again.

That was why I ordered my construct to go and toss the useless, twisted sword down to my ooze. I figured that it might be able to figure out something to do with it. If not, it could always just eat the sword since it didn’t seem to be too much of a picky eater.

Now, we were back at the same problem as before. I couldn’t just keep expanding my dungeon in straight lines. It was limiting, not a good use of space, and I couldn’t easily get to everywhere that I wanted to get to. Not only that, but I didn’t always want the entire tunnel that would be created from expanding. Right now, if I were to continue expanding straight to the west, my tunnel would dig into the room’s wall instead of just stopping at it like I would like it to.

I finally decided to check out one of the other expansion options to see if that would have a solution to my problems.

Room Expansion.

Upon selecting the option, any stretch of my tunnel that I looked at was split into multiple parts – or rather, I could select each individual wall, the floor, and ceiling by focusing my attention on them. Then, I could “push” the selection back. After confirming the selection, the tunnel’s wall disappeared as new walls rose around the expanded area.

I still had to claim the new area as my territory, of course.

More importantly, I checked off the requirements for a useful trait without even meaning to.

Research Requirements Met
Research Tree -> Dungeon Bonuses -> Expansion Bonuses -> Shaping Bonuses
Dungeon Builder
Increases your options when expanding your dungeon and claiming new territory.
Requirements
Expand your dungeon at least ten times.
Grow your territory at least five times.
Expand at least one room in size.
Reach 200 total Dungeon Points.
50 Dungeon Points
[Accept]

It sounded useful, plus having more traits was a good thing, so I accepted it.

Then, when I went to expand my dungeon again or when I tried to claim new territory…

Freedom.

No more was I bound by expanding in straight lines. I could now expand by creating circular rooms, square rooms instead of rectangular ones, oval rooms, rooms that were in no particular shape – I could do whatever I wanted now. All I had to do was visualize what I wanted and that was the shape that my expansion would take on.

Since I had the aether generation to spare, I decided to expand and claim even more territory to start fully taking over this larger room. I expanded my northern wall until it reached the room’s natural wall, and then I pushed my eastern wall out until it hit the room’s natural wall once again. Then, after claiming the territory, I turned my attention to where my aurbold was looking.

Golden chunks of rock stuck out from a part of the eastern wall within my territory.

I didn’t know at the time about the literal goldmine I just brought into my territory.

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