Monday note: So, terrible pain interfering with life, again. No two chaps today sorry. Surgery should fix the issue in December, at which time I'll be out for a few days.
Better note: This makes 10 chapters! If you guys love or hate it, please leave a rating so I know how you feel. Thanks!
Doc regained consciousness as Claire hit his crystal with her little fists. "Wake up Doc! Come on, you can't do this to me so soon!"
"Claire, is that you? What's going on?" He muttered, rousing himself and reconnecting with her mind. Claire sighed in relief and plopped back onto her table.
"Thank goodness, I was really scared Doc!" She cried out and hugged herself.
"Why would you be scared? What happened?"
She sniffed and pulled her legs closer to her body, "You had an attack Doc. You lost your mind and became a dungeon hive mind."
Doc was confused by her words. "I don't understand what happened; did someone hurt me?"
She shook her head, "No, but something set you off. I don't know why the girl made you like that, but you reacted badly to her situation."
The girl in his dungeon; he remembered her now. She was hurt, and in danger. He had wanted to do something, but he couldn't remember. "Claire, what did I do?" He asked slowly.
"You killed them." She said simply, "You used all your power to kill the men and made sure they suffered for every bit of it. It was really scary because you didn't hear me at all. All that mattered was hurting them."
Doc shuddered, "That doesn't sound like me at all."
"I agree, but that's what happened. Did you know her?"
"The girl, did you know her?" Claire clarified, "She's the reason for your episode."
Doc shook his head, "No, I've never seen her before. I just . . . didn’t want her to die like that." He paused, "Did she die? I can't remember."
Claire hesitated, "Well, not exactly; but she isn't okay either." Claire pointed at the center of the room.
There, floating inside his overslime was the girl. Her eyes were closed and her arms were down by her side as she floated peacefully within the slime.
Doc was floored, "What is this? What did I do?"
Claire floated down to the slime and sat on it, "Well, you saved her from being eaten but I don't know if she's still okay. It's been a few days since you "saved" her, so she could be dead for all I know. I read the letter the men had on them, and she's some important person to the royal family in the human city."
"Royal family, is that their leaders?"
Claire nodded, "Yes, humans rule each other by birthright and ability. The king and his mate the queen are the leaders, and the children are princes and princesses. The letter doesn't describe who she is, but I wouldn't be surprised if she was a princess herself."
Doc mulled this over in his head, "Can I release her?"
"I don't see why not. I'm curious to see if she's still alive or not. Let me hide first though." Claire flew over to her door hidden in the herbs and closed it behind her as she entered. "It's not in our interest to reveal our individual existences yet."
Doc shrugged, and moved his will into the overslime. The overslime jiggled, than slowly and carefully laid the girl out on the floor. She didn't move from her resting place.
"Claire, is she dead?"
"How should I know? Check her yourself Doc. Move to the floor and see if she's still breathing."
Feeling a bit foolish, Doc listened to the girl's body. She seemed to be breathing, and in fact seemed to be getting faster breaths. Before Doc could ask what that meant, the girl slowly opened her eyes.
She slowly gazed around the room and locked onto the overslime. A small smile came over her tired face as she relaxed.
[I was saved by a slime. How silly, to be rescued when there is nothing else for me.] She closed her eyes as tears began to silently flow down her face to the floor. Feeling sad for some reason, Doc had the overslime form a tentacle to wipe away her tears.
The girl giggled at the touch, [Mr. Slime, are you saying its okay for me to live? Will you take me in when no one else wants me?]
Slightly annoyed now, Doc had the slime slap the girl's face a few times with the tentacle, startling her and Claire who was watching the scene.
"Do, what are you doing? This is an emotional moment!"
"Her words annoyed me." He said defensively, "So I'm trying to wake her up."
"Don't slap her you idiot!"
To their surprise, the girl began laughing in earnest. Her eyes were closed and her she wasn't moving, but the girl let out a laugh that filled the room. It fixed with her tears until she was a sobbing, coughing, laughing mess on the floor.
[Okay Mr. Slime, I won't cry anymore. Is that what you want?]
Doc patted her with the tentacle.
The girl relaxed as her breaths began to slow down. [Okay Mr. Slime, I won't cry anymore. I'll . . . be good. I . . . show my . . . thanks.] She drifted off to sleep as a tiny light flowed from her body into the floor.
"Claire, what did she give me?"
Claire was watching the girl, stunned. "Claire?"
She shook her head, "Something special for another day Doc. For now, let’s get her out of the dungeon. I don't want the human adventurers blaming us for anything happening to her."
She flew out of her home holding a large thing to her chest. Doc recognized it as the thing the mean mad had had before.
"What are you doing Claire?" He asked.
She landed on the girl and stuffed the thing into her armor, "I'm making sure the humans focus on the letter instead of us. Let's carry her up to the entrance and leave her where they can find her."
Doc picked her up with his overslime and slowly carried her body through his dungeon up to the main entrance. His body couldn't go past his influence, but he could use his rapidly dissolving tentacles to deposit her gently before the entrance before returning to his room.
"Good job Doc. Now, with any luck they will begin searching for the traitor and the hero who saved the princess."
"What hero? Was there another human in the dungeon I didn't know about?"
Claire giggled, "Nope, I sighed the letter on the back saying the dungeon explorer "Doc" rescued her from her fate. They will search for a man while we get away without any trouble, and a lot of gained power!" Doc watched her celebrating by bouncing on the overslime.
"You really are looking out for us aren't you?"
She smiled at him and rolled onto her belly, chin in her hands. "Of course silly! You are my home, partner, and best friend, even if you are a silly fool interesting other women when you have me."
She laughed, "I'm teasing you silly. You wouldn't know the first thing about wanting a girl in the first place."
"I have a girl, you. Why would I want another?"
"You're sweet." She said, beaming at him, "Now, on a more important notice, we have more work to do! Those men were all really strong and adding the sword you ate makes you a lot stronger. We need to upgrade your abilities now."
"How do we do that?"
"With the upgrade chart of course!" Claire waved her finger and the mana condensed into a familiar blue writing.
|Teleporting Glyph||Inscribe a glyph on every floor that allows adventurers to move from one floor to another easily. Must have cleared the floor to be able to move to it. Groups are restricted to the lowest level conquered by a member|
|Additional Race||Able to create an additional race to the one held. Increases dungeon diversity|
|Upgrade Monsters||Grants the ability to improve monsters by unlocking next evolution level.
Current Monster levels: Slime Lvl 1
|Instances||Able to create parallel realities within the dungeon, allowing for more adventurers to enter the dungeon at the same time|
|Environments||Able to create new obstacles in the form of environmental hazards.|
"So, can I get all of them?" Doc asked excitedly.
"Eventually Doc, but not now. Even if you gained power from those men, you still are young and limited in the power you can harness. We can pick maybe two from this list for now, and that's already putting us in the lead of dungeon records for growth speed. After settling with your new abilities, it'll be farming for a long time for us. Adventurers will come in, we fight them, they either die or conquer; and then the whole process will repeat for a long time."
"Okay, I want monster upgrade and instances." Doc said proudly.
Claire clapped her hands, "I'm so proud I didn't have to correct you this time. Yes, those are the best choices for us. Monster upgrade doesn't cost much, and all we have to do is wait for the slimes to evolve on their own. Instance is the big one for us; it'll allow more adventuring and thus more fun!"
"Great, so how do I pay for these things?" Doc deadpanned, "I'm pretty sure I can't pay with gold and silver."
"Nope, you pay with mana capacity."
Doc stared at Claire for a moment.
Claire winced and rubbed her ears, "What did you expect? Upgrades are improvements to your main body, which means you have to grow in size in order to obtain them. Your capacity won't shrink to the point that it affects your current dungeon, but you won't be able to grow it much."
"Oh come off it you silly crystal. Everything has to make sacrifices in order to grow. Even the humans have to sacrifice the precious time they have to live in order to become stronger. In that regard, you aren't that bad off because you can recover your capacity; while humans never regain time spent."
Doc still sulked.
"You get to watch new slimes being created."
Doc perked up, "You mean without my help?"
Claire nodded, smug, "The upgrade also has a unique effect on each race you acquire it for. For slimes, it has the added bonus of allowing them to split into two slimes when they live long enough. Since we can't afford to actively make them evolve, having evolved slimes split or us is a big help. Feel better now."
"Since I don't have to spend hours making slimes, the answer is yes."
"Don't get your hopes up too high, slimes can only be in one instance at a time. That means you need to make enough slimes for every adventurer group that comes in. Also, the instance upgrade lasts until you reach a certain size sustainable for many groups of adventurers at once."
Doc sighed, and began working on his upgrades and the vast amount of slimes he needed.
Sorry guys, I planned more but it hurts too much. I'll make it up to you guys eventually.