[Vol. 1 pt. 28] Forming Bonds
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Research Requirements Met
Research Tree -> Dungeon Bonuses -> Monster Bonuses -> Combat Bonuses
Weapon Training I
Increases the ability for all monsters within your dungeon to fight using weapons by a small degree.
Requirements
Trait: Combat Training II
Kill at least one enemy within your territory with weapon-wielding monsters.
Your monsters must spar with each other using weapons for at least five hours.
75 Dungeon Points
[Accept]

Aside from requiring the second tier of combat training and seventy-five dungeon points, unlocking the trait wasn’t too expensive. So, I accepted it since it meant my monsters would be able to fight even better. Dungeon points weren’t really an issue at the time anyways. Aether was.

As for the second tier of weapon training…

Research Tree -> Dungeon Bonuses -> Monster Bonuses -> Combat Bonuses
Weapon Training II
Increases the ability for all monsters within your dungeon to fight using weapons by a moderate degree.
Requirements
Trait: Weapon Training I, Combat Training III
Kill at least thirty enemies within your territory with weapon-wielding monsters.
Your monsters must spar with each other using weapons for at least twenty hours.
200 Dungeon Points

As you can see, that one would obviously take much more effort in acquiring. It required upgrading combat training againand way more kills, training, and dungeon points.

We got seriously lucky that more and more fire snakes were coming out from that caved-in tunnel again. They were all on the smaller side of things, too. It was almost as if they were freshly-hatched. Their scales were shiny and without flaw, their bodies were thinner and shorter than usually, and—most importantly—they gave the same amount of aether and dungeon points upon converting them.

Each one was idiotic enough to fall for the bait that was my aurbold waiting by the dungeon’s entrance without any weapons nor defenses on her. None of them expected my ooze to be waiting right behind the wall ready to grab any of them that entered our territory.

But we still weren’t getting enough aether.

Something else needed to be done.

Something more.

We needed more monsters to kill. Between my evolved monsters, my traps, and my territory, we were just consuming too much aether.

That was when I remembered the map.

To the north of the first tunnel—where a wall was erected upon me officially beginning my dungeon—was another large room. If the large room we already conquered was a source of aether, would the room to the north be a good source as well?

Or would it be better to take over more of the southern room? There were still more of those golden rocks lining the walls and some more crystals.

But as far as I knew at the time, those were finite. I had no reason to believe that they would come back, regrow, or anything else. They were a one-time supply of aether to me and I needed a consistent supply of aether similar to the fire snakes.

If the northern room would bring another supply similar to the fire snakes, then that would be enough to fix the aether issues much more reliably than depending on one-time resources.

At the same time, it was possible that I would get enough aether from the one-time resources to satisfy the high requirement for that trait I was going for. But at the same time as that, aether-rich items didn’t give me dungeon points alongside them.

Then there was the possibility of the northern room having aether-rich items, too.

The choice was clear. It was time to claim one more stretch of territory in order to expose the dungeon to the northern room and hopefully attract more monsters to us.

It was the right choice.

Upon expanding and claiming the tunnel to the north, a large room opened up to us. The eastern side of the room, including all the way up to my dungeon’s entrance, was green, glowing vegetation and rocks. Small mushrooms sprouted up from between cracks in the rocky surface, each one emitting a near-constant spray of luminescent spores.

These mushrooms were coming up from the floor, sticking out of the walls, hanging from the ceiling – they were everywhere. It was almost as if the eastern side of the room was full of green fog just from how dense the spores were in the stagnant air.

Though, just moments after opening the tunnel, a concentrated breeze came billowing through my territory and exited out into the spore-infested room.

This spread the spores throughout the rest of the northern room.

Of course, the room was not only full of these strange, green rocks and mushrooms.

The eastern end of it had dozens if not over a hundred small, pale slug-like creatures slithering around. Each one left behind a greenish, orangish trail wherever it went.

And it just so happened that no insignificant amount of them was heading toward my aurbold and I standing at the edge of the territory.

I ordered all of my monsters to the new, northern tunnel immediately.

The small creatures seemed like they would pose no real threat to us. Their bodies were soft, they were small and slow, and they offered no offensive capabilities.

But, as it would turn out, they offered an incredible defensive ability.

My construct killed the first of them to cross into our territory by stomping on it.

The creature was instantly killed and that greenish, orangish liquid splattered out underneath my construct’s foot.

Then it started glowing brighter.

And brighter.

And then, it detonated.

Map (with a focus on the new northern area)!

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