Can You Not Show Up For A Couple Days? – Chapter 143
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Over the next few days a similar scene will repeat itself. Every morning, two teams of six will show up. One focused on farming food and the other tried to reach the third floor and the ore. This works decently well despite losing a person on the second day because of the last kobold on the first floor unexpectedly leading their goats out to join the camp fight.

On the fourth day, though, things change. The exploration team had been pushing forward through sheer stubbornness and overuse of their healers. But no matter how many hundreds of people the town up the river might have, magical healers are still a rarity. So after putting almost a third of their healers out of commission, even the council is convinced to stop with the nonsense.

That doesn’t mean they stopped sending twelve people a day to delve into the dungeon. They just shifted their focus entirely to farming activities. While the dungeon isn’t able to feed the town at the moment, it definitely takes a lot of pressure off of them. The teams still don’t have anyone with a skill to harvest all the herbs so most of their harvest is in meat and berries. 

And boy are they jealous of the settlement and their milk. Especially since the goat was replaced by a cow. While everyone was willing to get used to goat's milk, it wasn’t what they had grown up with. Not that the settlement wasn’t against selling some for a few coins.

A couple days later Ace pulls aside the captain when the ship pulls in. The two parties seeing this make motions of sticking around to keep an eye on things, but the captain waves them off before turning back to Ace. “Don’t mind them. We both know neither of us is in a position to do anything. I assume you just have something that needs to be relayed back to the town?”

Ace nods, “Yeah, I’m not even going to try and hide it since the dang thing isn’t exactly hidden. We’re going to be building something over the next two days and during that time we don’t want anyone coming here.”

The captain sighs and shakes his head, “The council isn’t going to like that. They’ve cut back on our own hunting and I doubt they want to go on short rations even for a single day. You better have something on your side to make it worth their while or I can’t guarantee what will happen. I won’t come by but that doesn’t mean they don’t send someone else.”

Ace shrugs, “We expected that. To make up for it, we’ve had our teams gather up more food than usual. After we are done here, we have a third of it ready to be loaded for your return trip. If they agree to not show up over the next two days, then when you come back tonight you get the remaining two thirds. Though if you would be very loud about how we can’t exactly do this again anytime soon. We took many of our builders off their jobs the last few days to do this and even then we went into our back up supply.”

The captain rolls his eyes, “I’ll try but you and me both know they won’t take it gracefully. All they’ll see is extra food coming in and expect it to stay that way. Though since you’re willing to do this, I assume the building is more than a shack to hide something with. Don’t tell me though, that’s just a guess of my own and whatever skills they might be hiding, none of them can dig out guesses yet.”

Ace nods, “Fair enough. Now let’s go about loading up your raft with some food.”

Later that night, the captain returns with his ship and some good news. While the council was a little skeptical about the deal in the end, the milk and herbs convinced them to go with it. Specifically, they made sure the normal citizens in the town didn’t know about the milk and the herbs so they could have it all to themselves. Of course the captain isn’t too happy about this turn of events but Ben just told him to roll with it. Easy access to the dungeon is worth more than making sure everyone received some milk and slightly more seasoned soup.

Ace accepts the explanation and waves him off. While he does want humans in general to survive this nonsense, the town upriver hasn’t left the best of impressions on the settlement. Ben sounds like a nice enough person but he didn’t take control. He let people still stuck in the old world ethos set the rules. Ace can’t let them gain any more of a hold or who knows what will happen to humans when the system stops quarantining the planet.

Ace shakes his head and focuses on loading the boat. Once the food they promised is all packed up and the two teams are onboard, Ace waves them off. While there is work to do, he stands there on the dock, watching them vanish into the distance. Still, he waits. While he trusts the captain, the rest of the people are just random schmucks who might be under someone’s thumb.

It takes a while, but eventually Ace feels they are really gone. Or at least as sure as he can be. The river did bend around a few small hills so they might have dropped a few spies off behind one of them. Ace shakes his head again, down that road lies madness. He could worry over it for hours and not find the answer. Of course the simplest answer would be to have one of the Barrais go and check it out.

Except he needs them working elsewhere. They almost have 10,000 coppers for the system anchor. The rest of the founders are right now delving the dungeon over and over to gain the last few coins needed. He had wanted to put it off until they had the money but Ace didn’t trust the council up-river to not start sending boatloads of people to offload any dissenters or some other stupid trick. Any longer and Ace even doubted they would have given them the actual time to set things up.

Not, of course, that they actually needed two days to do everything. Rather, Jimmy had gotten to the point that he needed to start pulling tons of dirt out of the ground to make the “secret” basement. The actual building can be whacked up within a few hours because of magic and skills. About the only questionable bit is the use of bones.

They had been collecting a few from the wolves and goats over the last few days to add to the structure. Though even if that fails Jimmy had made a few spare wooden features to take their place. Worries in mind, Ace turns around and heads towards the building site. His magic subbing in until Kellinger finishes his current run.

The next day comes and goes quickly enough. Jimmy, with the help of Kellinger has managed to dig out a truly enormous space underground. Big enough that there are now plans to subdivide it into multiple rooms and floors. At first Jimmy had questioned if such a space would be stable but Kellinger was able to relieve his worries by compacting the dirt into a near stone-like state. Not quite enough for him to trust it even a year, but once the town hall is initialized by the system, that will be out of their hands and well taken care of.

Though the thing that makes Ace the happiest is the fact that they had finally managed to gather the full 10k coins needed for the system anchor. Not only that, but Jimmy had already bought the thing for them. While Jimmy had doubts that anyone else on the planet could be buying the things yet, Ace wasn’t going to leave it to chance. Better to have it in hand now than find out later the discounted anchors had already sold out. After all, they can’t be the only ones who know about them.

Ace doesn’t stop the frantic diving even though they have already gotten the anchor. Once the town hall is up, system shops and services will begin appearing around the hall. While this doesn’t mean they need to start buying things right away, basically everyone else will have had access to the same supplies for quite a while already.

On the second day, the building for the town hall is thrown up in short order. Jimmy even managed to include all the bone features he had wanted. Well before night the building was finished and everyone in the settlement was gathered around it.

Ace pats Jimmy on the shoulder, “While it looks a little more hunting lodge than town hall I sort of like it.”

Jimmy shrugs, “We aren’t exactly in the age of highrises anymore. This is the best we can do.”

Susan laughs at this, “You do realize that even if in the future we do get back to that point, we’re going to be stuck with the theme?”

Ace sighs, “I’m honestly just happy that the bones are more of an accent feature. We could have ended up somewhere without easily available trees or stone. Imagine everything made entirely out of bone.”

Susan nods, “Be like one of those churches. Can’t remember where they were in the world but I am kind of scared of those places now. I give it good odds that those places became giant undead or some other similar nonsense.”

Ace rubs his eyes, “Why do you have to give me other things to worry about? Now I’m worrying about things like ancient burial grounds.”

Susan shakes her head, “Those should be fine. As long as it was an actual burial ground and not some resentment soaked mass grave. Without magic, I don’t think any nonsense was going to linger enough to cause trouble. Though I must admit, I’m very thankful we aren’t on one of the continents where the world wars really soaked the ground. Not that any place is free from some horrible massacres. Our history as a race is a bloody mess.”

Ace sighs, “Whatever, let’s get this town hall setup. Jimmy, you ready?”

Jimmy nods, “Just have to redeem the anchor. Which before you ask, does not mean I didn’t actually buy it. Rather, the system lets me choose when to take it out so I don’t have to have the thing lying around.”

Jimmy reaches into his pocket and pulls out a human sized crystal. The crystal is shaped like a disco ball and from within a soft glow can be seen, painting the surroundings in a fae glimmer no matter how bright or dark the area is. “Okay, I’m going to put this in the basement. We managed to fit three floors and I figure the middle of the second is the best option. While I do trust the system to protect the thing, better safe than sorry.”

Ace frowns, “Does the anchor actually stick around? I was expecting it to diffuse into the building or some similar nonsense.”

Jimmy shrugs, “A little of column A, and a little of column B. Most of the things will become a part of the structure. But that glimmer you can barely see inside of it? That sticks around. Not as a physical object, but it will be there. I do have some control over where it goes, but it has to stay in the room you activate the anchor in. Since it does put out light, I’m thinking I turn it into the room’s light. Later on when we get a better light source it can mask the glimmer. Now let me get this thing placed. I’m nervous just holding it nevermind the fact this thing weighs an absolute ton and yet the system is allowing me to lift it.”

Jimmy enters the building as everyone else waits outside.

Thank you for reading the chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Please rate, favorite and share the novel. That will help me a lot.

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