~ Chapter 3: Meeting the locals ~
While climbing down on the golden pyramid’s steps, I looked around at the beauty of this place. There was a lush forest and some sort of buildings in the far distance, beyond the lake. The ceiling was covered with crystals shining brightly above this entire land, but among them, there was one that was brighter than the others. It took the place of the sun, and I wondered if not as time went by, its light would dim down to allow another to take its place.
Thankfully, Yandrea didn’t decide to change my clothes as well, and I still had my trusty, pointy wizard hat. Besides its various enchants, it had another, very important role: it provided shade from the sun and protection from the rain. It looked funny, but it was very useful. Speaking of which, all of my clothes were fixed and cleaned up. The hole in my robe where I got stabbed by the el’doraw assassin was gone. Yandrea didn’t take my storage crystal either. Only my staff was missing, but I could replace that one in time.
Anyway, this place looked like some sort of underground mini-world. The landscapes, the sheer size of it, the forest, the building popping out here and there, everything expressed exactly that idea and image.
“Hm, so what are you supposed to be?” I asked in a rather curious tone of voice.
The one I asked was a big reptilian monster with wings and tail. It looked similar to a wyvern, but humanoid in nature, almost like a more beastly form of a draconian.
“Grrr! Agk Neareck Shev Es Ther!” it growled at me.
“Oh~? You can talk? But I apologize, I don’t understand a single word you are saying.” I shook my head and hoped the monster somehow was able to comprehend the meaning of my words.
I was quite curious to know if there was a way for me to actually communicate with this being. None of its words sounded even remotely familiar to the ones I knew, so at most, I could only guess.
Of course, I didn’t believe I was in any sort of danger. If Yandrea was such a powerful Dungeon Lord, then by all means, it was quite impossible for her not to have noticed something dangerous so close to her core. Thus, I easily concluded that this creature was nothing more than a guard or ally of hers. As her husband, I wasn’t going to be attacked. Maybe this reptilian fellow was supposed to be among the first I would have to meet, unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out a way to properly communicate with him… or her.
“Zer is nar…” it grumbled.
“Erm…” I simply squinted my eyes at him while the little fairies in my brain started working as fast as they could.
I should have asked for a translator or a book with basic words I could use… I thought while looking at the individual in front of me.
Now that I took a better look at him, he was actually wearing some interesting armor and weapons. I could have been wrong, but those looked like very powerful enchanted pieces only a Godlike Ranked Adventurer would usually wear. Their design was intricate and detailed like a piece of art, a sculpture in molten steel.
Whoever made it took their sweet time with the details. I doubted even Nanya could create something like this. Actually, she had the skill, but her artistic talent was at the same level as a child’s. If it was simple, she could do it, if it was complex in any way or manner, she stumbled and made a mess of things.
This reminds me of the time she first tried to remodel her Godlike armor. It took her a couple of months to finish it. I thought and allowed a small smile to appear on my lips.
“May I be of assistance?” someone suddenly asked me.
“Whoa!” I jumped forward.
Whoever it was startled me, but when I looked back, I confirmed that it was actually a ‘whatever’. In other words, a golem with metal arms and a big crystal in the middle of its body. It pulsed with Magic Energy, but it certainly didn’t look like something a human mage could make or summon. It was simply too complex even for me. Thus, this entity immediately sparked my curiosity, and I stared at it intensely.
I wonder how it works or talks. It doesn’t seem to have a mouth… I thought while I began to analyze it.
There were no visible strings or runes on its body, meaning that it actually used an armor of some sort to cover it’s inner mechanics. I didn’t even know if I should compare it to a regular golem or not, but if I did, I felt like I was insulting its creator.
But who is the genius who made this marvel? I thought.
While I was fascinated by this metal golem, a warm gust of wind hit me from above, and it smelled like fish. Looking up, I saw the reptilian from before. He appeared to be rather annoyed, especially if I were to take his growl and the baring of his dangerously sharp teeth as a sign of that.
“Ner mask ver ASHUNNI!” he growled at me.
“Huh?” I furrowed my brow.
“Tel’nak says that you are standing on his tail.” the golem translated for me.
I blinked surprised and looked down.
Yup! There’s a scaly tail right under my foot! I thought when I saw it.
“Ah! Sorry!” I said and quickly got off it.
Tel’nak growled and pulled back his tail. After saying something in a low tone of voice, he turned around and left.
“What just happened?” I asked while looking at him.
“You stepped on Tel’nak’s tail, and he wasn’t happy about it.” clarified the metal golem.
“That part I understood, anyway, who and what are you?” I asked with a raised eyebrow after turning around to look at the golem.
“I am one of the many automatons present in this dungeon. I was built by Mistress Yandrea with the purpose of defending this floor, but for now, I was ordered to act as your personal translator for all the sapient biological lifeforms present here.” explained the golem, well… automaton, although for now, I didn’t understand the difference between the two.
So, he was built by Yandrea? How can someone build something like this? Was it done similarly to golems? For someone to create a golem of any kind, they had to first build a body of a certain element, then infuse it with the Essence of that Element. The final step was to cast a spell that could bind the golem to the mage. By infusing it with Magic Energy, the golem would come to life and obey the mage as his master. But in none of those cases could the golem act or talk on its own. I remember someone tried to do this by binding the soul of a mortal to the body of the golem, but they failed miserably. Did Yandrea figure out how to do it? Will she tell me? countless questions began to pop in my mind as I continued to look at the scientific curiosity in front of me.
The details on its body could only be attributed to the work of a master blacksmith, while the inner workings to a master mage. The fact that a Dungeon of all things managed to build something so beautiful and complex was beyond my expectation and quite frankly speaking, I had a very hard time believing it to be so.
“Sigh… I miss my beard…” I said after realizing that I was unconsciously rubbing my chin, but the hairy sensation from before was gone.
Is this the price I had to pay for my returned youth? I wondered as I looked up at the luminous ceiling.
My gaze then fell upon the forest spreading before me. The trees were tall and filled with life, and although I could see several shadows jumping here and there, I didn’t fear them. It was like I was instinctively aware of the fact that I was completely safe around them. Even if they were fearsome monsters, they wouldn’t dare to attack me.
Maybe being a Dungeon’s husband is actually something really amazing? I thought and then looked back at the automaton next to me. “So you’ll only act as my translator, right?” I asked.
“Affirmative.” came its reply.
With another sigh escaping my lips, I made my way towards the other side of the gold pyramid. While doing so, I noticed the fact that this place was quite heavily guarded. A lot more of those reptilian fellows were roaming around, patrolling and shooting a glare at me from time to time, but aside from them, I also noticed another humanoid species.
They looked like the typical brutes hired as bodyguards by various caravans. Big, brawny, not very smart-looking, but certainly powerful enough to make even an experienced adventurer think twice before attacking them.
The big difference between the two was in their physical aspect. These creatures were far taller than a man and had four small tusks coming out of their upper and bottom jaws. Their armors were in general full-plated, but there were a few with chain mail armor as well. The weapons they carried were either smooth, sturdy long swords or doubled-edged axes.
“What are those things called?” I asked the automaton while pointing at two of them standing before a fire and eating what looked like a cooked monster.
“These creatures are called ornaks. They are part of the guard assigned to protect Mistress Yandrea’s body.” he explained.
“Hm…” I rubbed my chin.
The name sounded awfully familiar to me. I had the feeling I had heard of them at one point in my life, but since I was old, some things ended up lost as the years went by.
I stayed away from these ornak fellows and continued my exploration of the small island. The automaton never left my side, just in case anyone was all of a sudden in a chatty mood.
While doing so, I observed and saw many interesting things in this place, including the fact that those crystals on the ceiling did indeed show the position of the sun on top of the surface. When one dimmed down, the one next to it began to shine brighter. It was a very interesting way of telling what the time was.
By my estimates, I already spent more than five hours exploring this floor.
After getting bored with this island on which Yandrea’s pyramid was located, I asked about how I could get off of it. The automaton offered to take me there.
Note to self: traveling by jumping automatons wasn’t one of my brightest ideas. My stomach strongly agreed on never doing it again if I had the choice not to.
The most interesting thing I saw after reaching the other side of the lake were probably the various mazes here built by Yandrea. I didn’t venture into them, just looked at them from afar, however, the automaton next to me explained that those were actually the living quarters for automatons. Inside, I wouldn’t find any sort of traps, but in case of an emergency, those living inside would turn the place into a living nightmare for the unexpected adventurer. What exactly this meant, I had no idea, but I had the feeling I was going to find out in due time.
In regard to how well defended this floor was, I had no idea. There was no way for me to test out the abilities of the ornaks and lizard people, but my guess was that I was certainly no match even for one of them. The majority of them were probably around Emperor Rank, with their strongest around Godlike or Supreme. As for the automatons, they were a complete mystery to me. Then again, a level 1126 Dungeon would certainly not keep a bunch of weaklings around her core.
On another note, the ornaks and reptilian tribes were perfectly settled in this place. Both of them were located near each other and even had small trading caravans going from one side to the other. The automaton who accompanied me told me this because I initially thought they were simple travelers.
For most of the time, I kept a fair distance from all of them because I didn’t want to get in trouble. I didn’t need to enter their small settlements to realize what their jobs were. They had everything from blacksmiths, tanners, tailors, and bakers to healers, merchants, and mercenaries. All of these professions required special buildings and tools that could be easily distinguished from the common houses. Of course, every settlement had a small number of professions. That was how they could maintain a flowing trade between each other.
At first, I thought the ornaks and lizard men simply didn’t know other professions, but when I saw an ornak blacksmith among the lizard men, I realized that maybe this split was somewhat enforced upon them in order to keep a steady flow of goods between them. It didn’t seem to be a good idea, but I was just a mere observer for now. Maybe there was more to it than I realized at the moment?
Looking at these two species from afar, I was able to take note of the impressive number of similarities between their societies and the human one. It was almost like they were a direct influence on one another.
The only major difference between them was probably the language they each spoke. Well, that and their basic traditions, rituals, maybe even religion. Then again, humans were wildly known for the amount of beliefs they harbored. Even in Paramanium, the officials gave up on trying to name and classify all the religious cults in their empire.
When I had enough of exploring for today, I returned to Yandrea’s island. Unfortunately, the jump over the lake almost made me scream in fear, and it was the second time that day. That wasn’t the first time someone helped me get across a river or something, but last time, Nanya was a bit more gentle than this automaton.
While waiting for Yandrea to come over, I decided to take a better look at myself and approached the calm surface of the lake. Kneeling down, I looked at my own reflection.
I’m so young… I wonder how many years has it been since I last saw this face? Forty? Maybe fifty? I thought.
Back then was before I got to meet Nanya, it was even longer before I even thought of building Fellyore Magic Academy. Speaking of which, I tried not to think of what became of it. I was too far from it, and worrying about it wouldn’t do me any good.
Letting out a sigh, I leaned back on the shore and looked up at the ceiling while holding my hands under my head. It was getting dark.
A few minutes later, I heard her voice next to me.
“It’s time to return, Tuby.” (pronounced TO eat + BIllion)
“T-Tuby?” I asked raising an eyebrow at her.
In my eyes, she was nothing but a floating orb of light, but I knew, deep down, that she was my ‘wife’. It was a rather strange feeling.
“Tuberculus is too long, and I don’t like the name Firerage, therefore, henceforth, you shall be known as Tuby! I have decided!” she declared proudly.
If I didn’t know any better, I would think she was pushing out her chest and smiling broadly.
“Why such a ridiculous nickname? It sounds like something a girlfriend or lover would give me.” I retorted, but then I froze.
“But you are my husband, so what’s wrong with it?” she asked.
By the sound of her voice, I was imagining her as a young woman pouting with her arms crossed at her chest and looking the other with a glare in her eyes.
Yeah… but you aren’t even in love with me… I wanted to say, but decided not to.
I let out a sigh and then told her “Yes, you are right…”
“See! I knew you would like it!” she said joyously “Absorb Tuby with everything on him!”
For a very powerful Dungeon, she was surprisingly innocent, or maybe she was playing with me. As long as I was able to keep my life, I guess it was best not to make her mad.
When I came through, I was back in that endless white space, and in front of me was a very beautiful, hot, naked, busty elf.
“Tadaaa!” she said spreading her arms wide open and making the mountains on her chest bounced a little.
“Huh?” I nearly had a nosebleed, but part of the blood was going somewhere else.
Once more, there was no need to ask who she was because I immediately recognized her as Yandrea thanks to that invisible bond between us. This was one nifty little trick, but it removed the possibility of a mistake in case someone tried to claim they were her. Then again, I was still surprised by her sudden… change.
“What? You don’t like it?” she asked and then looked at herself with a worried expression on her face “I thought you would feel more comfortable if I had a body similar to yours, at least here…” she said and a sad formed on her face. “Is it because of these useless pieces of fat?” she asked as she held her big breasts in both hands and weighed them in front of me.
I immediately shook my head as fast as I could.
“No! No! No!” I said.
“Then what?” she was now glaring at me with her hands on her hips.
I looked down and then up in her green eyes. I gulped. It was actually quite hard to find a flaw in her gorgeous body, but it wasn’t like I wanted to in the first place. She was hourglass shaped, with a big chest and round hips. She was tall, a bit more than me, and with milky-white skin. The height and pointy ears weren’t a problem since they were a common trait among elves. The color mix between her jade green eyes and long, lush, pink hair was a bit weird, but she had the facial features of a goddess.
Even if there was something wrong with her, I didn’t know if I had either the guts or selfishness in me to point it out as a flaw. The elf beauty in front of me brought me at a loss of words and if she were to casually walk through a human city, dressed of course, she would certainly turn the heads of many men around her.
“Well? What is it?” she asked, furrowing her brow.
“There’s nothing wrong… with you, Yandrea. I’m just surprised, that’s all. You are very beautiful, incredibly charming… attractive…” I said as I looked in her eyes and tried to smile.
Upon hearing me, a bright smile appeared on her face and then she jumped into my arms, giving me a back-breaking hug. I struggled not to die on the spot, but the sensation of her chest pressed onto mine, and the sweet scent of a woman gave me the strength to endure it.
“Thank you, Tuby!” she said with a sweet voice.
I’m in Heaven! I died, and now I’m in Heaven embraced by a naked goddess! I thought while completely engrossed in the soft sensation of her chest pressed against me.
“It’s late, we should sleep now!” she told me with a big smile before settling herself in my arms and closing her eyes.
“OK, sleep tight.” I replied like a powerless little lamb in the jaw of a Dayuk, but as moments passed, I relaxed and returned the embrace.
“Staying like this… sleeping with my husband… it feels good. It’s warm… I like it.” she whispered, and I blushed as a result.
There was no point in trying to stay awake or push her away from me. The latter I feared would have dire consequence, and it would be a hazard to my health. Then again, there was nothing wrong with me hugging Yandrea. We were technically husband and wife. I had all the right to do so, but I didn’t know if she felt the same about it.
Our relationship was a strange one to say the least, but maybe in time, we would grow more accustomed to each other? Maybe, just maybe one day I would allow myself to fall in love with her? It wouldn’t be like this was the first time I fell in love with a Dungeon.
I was a weird old man…
Maybe that was the reason why I came to accept everything about her with such an incredible ease and wasn’t panicking like most men would have. My life was spared by her, and it looked as though she was genuinely trying to make me feel comfortable around her. I was receiving quite a lot from her.
In my previous life as old man Tuberculus, my dream was achieved when Illsyore was born. As for Nanya… the woman I loved for such a long time… maybe it was finally time to let her go and try to accept someone else in my heart?
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
Can't wait for the next chapter?
Try one of my other books! You never know what you might find!
Ran out of chapters and books to read?
Try one of my Fan Fiction Stories! I wrote them in the same style, and you don't need to have played the games to read them!
I am grateful for any and all donations! Thank you!