Chapter 64: Afterparty, a boozed-up snafu
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Chapter 64: Afterparty, a boozed-up snafu

When I finally woke up, I replenished my energy somewhat by feeding on Scarlet and then she took her turn to sleep. We unanimously agreed that we were NOT going back to the fiftieth floor. At least not until all of us were at stage five.

“Aren’t you going to make use of the monster core we worked so hard to get.”~Scarlet

“I’ll wait until we get home. I figure that letting her out in a safer environment is the least I can do for her since she did help to save my life before.”~me

Once everyone was rested, we started our long journey back up. We took our time and thoroughly cleared out the treasures in all of the forties’ floors. Mostly it was just me using shadowmeld to quickly grab whatever my perception detected and fleeing. Otherwise it would have taken a lot more time than it did. Even so, we spent nearly twice as much time going back up those ten floors as it had taken us to go down.

We spent the last thirteen days just like the first, casually strolling through the floors and holding each other at night. It seems a bit late to mention it now, but we did run into a few idiots who will never see the sky again, both on the way down and going back up. Thankfully, these types typically don’t manage to live long enough to be able to bother us in the lower floors.

Along the way out, I managed to get my second night with Thessa in order to check my theory. I found that it does in fact increase the rate of cultivation. However, the amount cultivated didn’t really increase verses just using one collar.

After nearly two months of dungeon life, we finally reemerged. On the way out, my spirit cultivation finally broke through to stage four. Scarlet also broke through to stage two in spirit cultivation and we both managed to level up a number of skills.

It was already pretty late when we emerged. We gathered in the upstairs residence of Az’s shop to hash out the details for the division of loot. From that small chest that I took, there were three items. The third item was a rare material that emitted water element energy, probably the reason why the monster made a nest next to the chest in the first place.

[Bloody Chalice]
Effect: collection, refinement

[Waterproof Stud]
{restricted equip location: tongue}
Effect: water breathing, fluid speech

I claimed the chalice. Its purpose, based on where we found it, would normally be to keep the water clear of blood so as to not attract monsters. But as a vampire, I would have an additional use for it. By inserting mana, it will draw any unrestrained blood in the area into it and inserting qi will refine the blood by condensing it into a smaller quantity, but of higher quality.

Thessa wanted the stud just because the blue gem on it matched her hair. By adding a little mana, it would give effects for water breathing and make your speaking underwater just as understandable as speaking in the open air.

Other special goods we managed to collect included skill crystals for synergy, second sight, assess and tamer. The other various equipment items were either allocated for each of their use or put in a pile to be sold. Az didn’t take any skill crystals or special goods in exchange for a larger portion of the crafting materials, qi crystals and mana crystals.

I took synergy as it would help to alleviate my energy issues somewhat and I had already managed to get assess from one of those idiots who bothered us along the way out. 

Scarlet took second sight to assist with her fighting style which is extremely demanding on her spatial awareness. She also took assess due to its usefulness with her being a shop owner. 

Thessa took tamer which is especially helpful for a dedicated support mage. She just needs to get a sturdy familiar now that can guard her in the future. Thessa managed to snag two nice items as well. She got the only collar we found and a particularly useful piece of water gear.

[Deep Diver’s Raiment]
{no effect when covered}
Effect: ultra-glide, flowing evasion

It’s actually a blue, deep plunging styled thong swimsuit with side cutouts, a laced up corset look on the back and a small bow between the breasts to keep the front from pulling apart too much. Though it loses its effects if you wear your armor over it, the effects when worn by itself in the water make up for the lack of armor. The first one gives the ability to move through the water at a speed comparable to an aquatic creature with the same body cultivation as you. What the second one does for you is that the pressure made by fast moving creatures will cause you to be gently pushed out of their path when they approach you.

Az would get most of the scales, hides and metals from what we gathered for her armor crafting needs. Fur and some of the softest leather would go to Scarlet for making clothing. Most of the rest of the materials were split between us. The crystals earned from selling the rest would be distributed in a way to even things out. Overall, we had quite the haul.

“Now it was time to celebrate!”~Az

Az decided to pull out some fine wine from her collection and I took over the kitchen to cook a celebratory dinner. Thessa went out to deliver the monster corpses to be processed at a skinning and tanning shop they frequent and Scarlet went to buy some sweet desserts.

Of course the dwarf would have booze! Did you ever question it, really?

We partied hard. Way too hard! I should have expected a dwarf's booze to be strong. Around noon the next day, Scarlet and I staggered out of Az’s guest room to find food. We were met midway by our equally haggard looking counterparts who were similarly on the prowl.

I was somewhat stunned by their appearances. Not the haggard look, but the collars on their necks. My name was no longer on Thessa’s. It instead had Az’s name and Thessa’s name was on Az’s collar. Kat had made the collars able to do this as a special feature that gives an additional effect. The effect is named bonded which allows them to share their sense of pleasure, thoughts and feelings.

While I was fixing up some food, I asked Scarlet to order me to remember what had happened to all of us last night. Something like trying to forcefully remember what happened during a drunken blackout would normally not work, but my orders are absolute and my memory blessing is perfect. The downside is that the recall of last night’s events tended to sway and spin. This caused my hangover to feel even worse and made me nauseous as well.

“Uh, Mistress?!”~me

“Yeah? Did you remember something? Is it bad?”~Scarlet

“It’s not so bad for us, but your aunt and Az may have royally screwed themselves. And I may have helped them do it.”~me

“If you’re talking about the collars, it’s fine. They’ve always been really close and it was only a matter of time.”~Scarlet

“I wish it were as simple as them just putting the collars on each other. Last night after I had graciously agreed to remove Thessa’s collar and they fixed them on each other, they started expressing a desire to be even closer. In a more permanent way.”~me

“And you somehow provided this ‘permanent’ solution for them?”~Scarlet

“Uh-huh. Yep. They basically ordered each other to follow the orders I had written on this sheet of paper for them.”~me

I handed over the folded page from last night that I took out of my inventory and watched as her eyes started to widen as she read it.

Azalea’s and Thessa’s marriage vows/orders:
Order one: You may never remove or consider removing the collar from each other.
Order two: You will cultivate with each other each night when reasonably able.
Order three: You may never rescind the previous two orders, this order or the next one.
Order four: You will not remember that this and the previous three orders were made, but you will continue to carry them out regardless.

“Hey Az, do you remember this?”~Scarlet

She passed it over and Az started to read it. Then she just sort of stared at it. Scarlet waved her hand in front of her face to get her attention when she failed to respond after several minutes passed. Only once she took the paper back, did she finally respond.

“Huh, Scarlet? Did you need something?”~Az

“I had asked if you had seen this before?”~Scarlet

“Isn’t that just a blank piece of paper? Silly girl.”~Az

“Yep, they’re completely screwed.”~me

“What exactly happened there?”~Scarlet

“That last order seems to be the persistent type. When you showed her that paper, her mind got stuck in a loop of reading it and forgetting right after. Even if you tried to tell them that they have such orders, they would immediately forget what you said.”~me

“So, they’re just stuck like this?”~Scarlet

“The only way those babies are coming off is if they pop off on their own.”~me

“How would that happen?”~Scarlet

“They would have to feel an unwillingness to be bound to each other.”~me

“There’s like zero chance of that happening.”~Scarlet

“On the plus side, I managed to gain a bit from last night’s revelry. Az had finally let me taste her blood and I acquired the dwarven traits for finesse and strength boost.”~me

Both new traits were only two hundred soul points each to unlock. I immediately unlocked them since my current soul points were sitting just shy of five hundred.

“Oh, another scene just became clearer to me.”~me

“What is it this time?!”~Scarlet

“Hehe, I’m sure you’ll be utterly embarrassed. You should take a look at my orders log to find out more. I highly suggest that you rescind some of the more...indulgent orders. I don’t know if you would want me to be doing some of those things when you’re fully lucid.”~me

She turned bright red as she started through the list and rescinded various orders that were still active from our depraved play last night.