~ Chapter 41: One step was all it took... ~

It was very good to see the girls alive and well again, but there was a bit of worry in their eyes. Shanteya didn’t leave my side and constantly stuck to me like she was afraid I might vanish any second now. She was cute that way, but I hoped the battle with Dankyun didn’t leave any lasting mental scars.

Ayuseya remained calm and collected, keeping up her image as an elegant noble, although, I had the feeling that sitting in a seiza position, wasn’t exactly a comfortable one. It also made me wonder if she wished to return to Teslov now or stay by my side. As a royal, her duties and objectives were quite different than mine. Even so, nothing stopped me from selfishly trying to keep her by my side as my wife.

As for Nanya, she wasn’t even looking at me. She turned around and began to repair her armor. Actually, she changed her rather revealing armor to a full-body version, keeping her ‘assets’ hidden from wandering sight, and unfortunately mine as well. One of these days, however, I was going to make sure to peel it off of her gently and slowly.

“What are you thinking about, Illsy?” asked Shanteya when she noticed my perverted grin aimed at Nanya’s back.

“Huh?” I blinked surprised and wiped off my drool.

“Perverted stuff, as usual.” Nanya looked back and showed me a smirk.

“You, actually… and yes, sort of…” I replied.

Nanya blushed and turned around immediately.

“Pervert…” she whispered.

I heard you… I thought.

Another moment of deep silence fell upon us, with just me staring back and forth between them. Eventually, Ayuseya was the one to break the ice.

“Ahem!” she coughed, catching our attention. “With Dankyun gone and the Magic Academy destroyed, what are we going to do now?”

I blinked surprised.

“If there’s a desert outside, there’s a chance that we are actually on the Third Continent Sorone.” said Nanya.

“Sorone?” I asked surprised.

From what I remembered, there were three big continents discovered and populated by humans as well as other species. Their names were Thorya, Allasn, and Sorone. While there weren’t that many restrictions in regard with traveling between the big continents in the north, going to the third continent was a bit of a trouble. There was something like a border in the middle of the ocean. It was being constantly patrolled by various ships from the kingdoms on Sorone, so passing over it could only be done through the few checkpoints placed near the tiny islands between the continents.

The border was created a couple of thousands of years ago, and ever since then, the combined navy of Sorone continued to protect it. Of course, boats from Teslov and Paramanium also joined the patrol from time to time, but the bottom line was that no unauthorized vessels were allowed to cross. This constant diligence made the third continent’s naval fleets incredibly powerful, so much that even Paramanium didn’t try to mess around with them.

“Yes, the first continent I ever stepped on… as well as where I first met Dankyun.” Nanya said and pulled her knees to her chest.

The memories this place sparked didn’t seem to be to her liking, well… he did leave her for dead in a dungeon and stole her sword. I was starting to regret leaving him alive, but I hardly doubted he was going to be a match for us next time. The draconian was left with only his underpants in the middle of that forest. There was also the threat I left him with. PTSD was going to eat him up alive! MUHAHAHA! Ahem… I mean… yeah…

“Speaking of what we are going to do, how about we just explore this land while training our abilities a bit? Maybe even go dungeon crawling, join in as adventurers to a guild, you know? Some simple stuff while we find something… more important to do?” I asked them, but I was also planning on using this as an excuse of maybe finding out some ways to destroy the Darkness inside of me.

“That does sound interesting. In a way, I am excused of my duties as a royalty… Learning to mingle among commoners might be a good idea.” said Ayuseya.

“As long as I am with Master, I do not care.” said Shanteya, letting her thoughts be known to all of them.

Now we were all staring at Nanya. The demoness let out a sigh.

“I don’t really mind either…”

“Good!” I smiled and then looked outside. “Erm, it’s still dark, and I have no idea what time it is…” I told them.

“You wish to sleep, Master?” asked Shanteya looking up at me.

“No, but I was wondering if I should make you all some armor and swords while we wait for the sun to rise?” I asked them.

“If you still have the dagger I got from those two, that would be enough.” said Shanteya.

“That and some armor to keep yourself protected. Wearing a maid outfit isn’t necessary anymore, but maybe a leather armor?” I asked her, but for some reason, I felt like I was doing something really stupid by denying the pleasure of dressing up my el’doraw as a cute maid.

“As long as it’s light and easy to move in.” she told me.

“I don’t need any… I can make my own.” Nanya denied me the pleasure of make her a more revealing outfit.

“Your sword is over there, next to the wall.” I told her and removed the protective wall I placed there to keep it away from possible lucky looters.

Blinking surprised, she turned her head and saw the infamous weapon used by Dankyun to cause so much fear and terror. It was hers from the very beginning, so I saw no reason as to not take it with me. Besides, if it landed in the wrong hands, it would have probably caused a lot of trouble again.

“You took it from him?” she asked as she got up and approached it.

“It was yours from the beginning. He had no right over it.” I shrugged.

Nanya appeared to be a bit reluctant in regard to picking it up. Her hand retreated at first when she tried. Eventually, she did what I couldn’t do and absorbed it. The weapon was gone in the blink of an eye.

“Thank you…” she said and then returned to her seat, but this time, facing me.

“You’re welcomed, but how did you do that? It didn’t let me absorb it…” I told her blinking surprised.

“Oh! Father just made it so that no one but me could absorb it.” she shrugged and then sat down next to Ayuseya.

“Is that so? I didn’t know there was an option like that. I wonder if it was derived from the [No Steal] enchantment.” I said while rubbing my chin.

“There are many enchantments you don’t know about yet, Illsy, many which can only be used by our kind…” she explained and looked down at the fire.

“I see… Also, as a side note, I liked the previous armor better…” I said while looking straight at her chest, which was covered by a big metal plate.

“It proved to be rather useless…” Nanya said while she instinctively covered her chest.

“In a way…” I shrugged.

“Then, I guess I should be the one to ask now for a weapon and armor. If possible, something inconspicuous which I can wear under my dress. A chainmail, maybe? Oh, and a sword as a weapon.” Ayuseya requested.

“Hm, I suppose that’s reasonable. Similar to a human long sword?” I asked her.

“Yes.” she replied with a simple nod.

“Be right back then. If something happens, just give me a slap or something.”

I closed my eyes and then went into my Inner Mind. There, I began to fiddle with the armor and weapons for both of them. The dagger wasn’t there anymore, I had forgotten to take it from the battlefield, so I had to remake it.

Thanks to the past few months of fiddling with technology, making a light chain mail for both Ayuseya and Shanteya was a piece of cake. I used the Inconel alloy to make sure it was both light and darn hard to break. The next thing I did was make the armor parts.

When I was done, I had the following items ready for Ayuseya: a pair of satin leggings, chain mail, leather belt, metal gauntlets, metal boots, and my own, specially designed long sword. For Shanteya: a brand new jagged dagger set designed by me, a pair of metal leather gloves with metal knuckles, a pair of leather boots with metal soles, a pair of satin leggings, a chain mail similar to Ayuseya’s, and a one-piece combat maid dress… I have no idea how I ended up making something like that, but I gave it a thumbs up and stuck with it.

Afterwards, I just had to enchant them. Tuberculus’ book explained some of the basics of enchanting. In theory, one could infuse Magic Energy into items to give them certain properties. The trick was that if you infused too much and too fast, the item would break apart.

What I learned from my mingling with traps and building my body, every living being as well as enchanted items had these things called ‘Magic Channels’ or ‘Magic Circuits’ whatever one wished to call them. Although they looked similarly, in the case of living beings, these Magic Channels worked as both a storage and ability to handle Magic Energy. In the case of items, they acted like means with which you could control the way Magic Energy reacted to that item, in other words, programming it. Unfortunately, I had no idea how EXACTLY they worked, I only had an idea and some sort of blueprints of various intricate designs of Magic Channels. That was why I couldn’t create that magic micro controller.

In due time, I was certain to find out how it worked, but for now, I at least had an idea how to make proper enchantments. All I had to do was copy certain Magic Channel schematics, link them together and then infuse it with some Magic Energy to start it up. That was why there was no reason for me to blindly pour Magic Energy into the item. Indeed, it could force a certain enchant to be created, but that was also the main reason why the infused item had a chance of breaking into pieces. Enchanting was basically the art of creating a Magic Energy circuit or channel flow within an item. The other part consisted in programming the way Magic Energy had to react in combination with the item’s properties.

Theoretically, if the one who built Nanya’s sword knew this stuff as well, then no wonder he was able to create something like that. Enough practice and a good amount of patience and practice could result in creating something like that. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Nanya merely scratched the surface of that weapon’s abilities.

Thus, I made all of those items highly durable, enough to survive a full-on combat between Supreme Ranked Adventurers. They were also highly resistant to the elements. The materials made them very light, so the only thing I had to do was remove some of the friction around the joints, allowing for a smoother movement. The [No Steal] enchantment was added as well. To give them an edge in battle, I made the items react as a buff. By infusing the clothes with Magic Energy, they could increase the wearer’s stats, up to 500 points in each category. Any more would require some sort of Magic Energy container. Speaking of which, I had to remember to add these enchantments to my own clothes as well. Except for the endurance one, I forgot to add anything else, so a skilled enough thief could leave me butt naked in the middle of the street.

As for the weapons, besides some of those enchants, they both had the ability to partially ignore Magic Armor, what it did was act like oil in a bucket of water, then it all came down to the user’s strength. Shanteya’s daggers had an extra enchant, which dampened the sound around her by slowing down the vibrations in the air in front of it. In order to activate it, she had to will it to do so as well as infuse a bit of Magic Energy in it. Besides going on a stealth mission, that ability was practically useless in actual combat, but in Shanteya’s hand, it could prove pretty deadly.

Ayuseya’s weapon raised the temperature around it to the point where it could melt steel. It didn’t burst into flames, but it wasn’t far from it either. It consumed a bit of Magic Energy, but it wasn’t like she had a bunch of spells she could use it on in the first place.

Once I was satisfied with all of these, I stepped out of my Inner Mind and prepared to offer them, however, what I found instead was Ayuseya resting her head on my left shoulder and sleeping peacefully, Shanteya sleeping in my lap, and Nanya laying down in front of the fire. Everyone was sound asleep.

“How long was I in there?” I asked myself, seeing as how I managed to forget about the time again.

Judging from the light creeping up inside this room, the sun was just about to rise. The girls were probably tired, or maybe their internal clocks were trying to adjust to the sudden change in both global position and time passed.

With a sigh, I closed my eyes and fell asleep as well. A bit of rest didn’t sound so bad, besides, everything else was already prepared. All that was left for me to do was to offer the armors and weapons to them.

‘Morning’ came with a hug and a kiss. I opened my eyes and saw Shanteya taking me by surprise with her soft lips. The el’doraw sure knew how to work her tongue, and I took her in my gentle embrace, but before I went one step further, I saw a pair of black eyes accusing me of some heinous crime even I wasn’t aware of.

“You are enjoying this aren’t you?” Nanya asked me.

“Mmhmm…” I replied while ending my kiss with Shanteya.

“Puhaaa~!” said the el’doraw with a cute blush.

“Erm… I can explain…” I told Nanya.

She kept squinting her eyes at me.

“Illsy?” asked Ayuseya.

Turning my head towards her was both a bad and a good idea at the same time because she offered me a kiss as well. I just got assaulted by two lovely women before I even had the chance of properly waking up. Looking over at Nanya, I could see she did NOT see that coming.

“You too?” she asked the princess.

“Mmm… Thank you.” the draconian said with a soft smile after she pulled back.

“Erm… eh… yeah…” I managed to say.

Well, one thing was certain, both the draconian and the el’doraw weren’t shy about kissing me anymore. Ayuseya came as a surprise on this part, but I was sort of used to Shanteya. Still, it was different than when I did it in the Inner Mind, it was more… pleasant. The feel of reality offered that extra spice it needed to make it better, or maybe I was just imagining it since it had been so long since I last kissed them.

“Nanya, my dear, I do not see anything wrong with kissing my husband.” said the draconian princess, showing her a small smile.

“It’s not wrong, but…” she was blushing and looked away. “Still, I…” she wanted to say something but stopped and turned around, her tail whipping in the air “Ugh, just do what you want!”

I couldn’t tell if she was just jealous or if something was bugging her. My guts were telling me that she had something on her mind, which she wasn’t ready to reveal yet. I could only wonder what, though. With everything that happened lately, I guessed all of them were seeing me with different eyes. Shanteya was more attached to me and Ayuseya more daring.

With a sigh escaping my lips, I just pulled the draconian and el’doraw into an embrace and kissed them both on their cheeks. As for Nanya, after I was freed of their grasp, I moved closer to her.

Gently patting her head, I asked “Is Nanya upset about something? Nanya want a treat?”

“GRR! I’m not some mangy pooch!” the woman growled and jumped at me, pushing me down, and pinning my arms next to my head.

“But you looked so cute.” I stuck my tongue out at her.

“Grrr!” she growled again with a pink blush in her cheeks, while her tail swayed left and right.

Even with all of that armor on her, I barely felt her weight on top of me.

“Come on now, I’m joking!” I laughed.

The growl stopped. She looked down for a moment and unmounted me. Now I was getting a bit sad.

“Idiot…” she said as she walked outside.

I was left there to simply stare at the door, while my brain was trying to process what the hell just happened. Even Shanteya seemed to be a bit confused about her sudden gesture, but Ayuseya was simply giggling.

“I don’t get it…” I said lifting my arms up in the air.

“Let her be.” said Ayuseya.

Letting out a sigh, I decided to give up on trying to understand what just happened. There was no point in rocking my brains over something I couldn’t figure out with the given variables. I focused instead on taking out the items I created for Ayuseya and Shanteya and explained to them what each and every one did. Afterwards, they changed… right in front of me.

I… erm… the inner hermit approves! I thought while I did a mental thumbs up.

After they were done, we walked outside.

“Master, do you have a fever?” Shanteya asked upon seeing my red cheeks.

“No, that’s just a natural reaction…” I said shaking my head.

Nanya was outside, on top of the stone formation next to our small home.

“See anything from up there?” I asked.

“Yeah… I think I see something in the distance. It looks like a temple of sorts, but I’m not sure…” she replied, while she looked with a furrowed brow ahead.

“Let me see…” I said and then jumped next to her.

Looking in that direction, I saw the formation she mentioned, but I could swear I didn’t see that thing when I first teleported to this desert. Was it formed sometime during the past seven months?

While thinking about that, a thought suddenly struck me.

“Could it be a dungeon?” I asked.

“Maybe…” said Nanya with a nod.

Dropping down on the ground, I said to Shanteya and Ayuseya “Girls! We’re going Dungeon Crawling!”

I was excited about this sudden turn of events, and a big, happy smile was on my face.

“Isn’t this a bit too quick? What level are you?” asked Nanya after dropping next to me.

“Bah, who cares?” I shrugged.

Ever since I got my body, I didn’t bother checking my status because I knew I wasn’t going to gain any more skill points. The attribute ones were more interesting, but unless I had something along the lines of 1000 or so to add, there was no point in doing so now.

“Sigh. Well, you did defeat Dankyun, so a few levels shouldn’t hurt. Maybe we can find out where we are as well.” said Nanya as she began stretching her arms and legs.

“Let’s go then!” I said with a smile as I pointed towards the presumed dungeon entrance.

We began walking in that direction, with Nanya leading and the other two girls following behind me. After about five minutes, we started running and thanks to our incredible stats, we quickly reached high speeds of over 100 km/h. Although, I was more surprised by how Ayuseya could run with that dress of hers. On the other hand, Shanteya’s dress looked quite cute on her.

After about ten minutes or so of constant running, we finally reached the entrance. It had just one entrance made out of stone, with big decorated pillars opening a dark path towards an unknown labyrinth.

“Cool!” I said out loud.

“The temperature is fine…” said Nanya blinking surprised.

I ignored the comment and then approached the entrance.

“Wait!” called out the demoness.

“What?” I asked looking back at her.

“Do you have a weapon?” she asked me.

Lifting my hand up, I pointed it at the tip of the stone formation from which we came and fired a single, weak, laser shot. The red beam cut the air and hit the mark in the blink of an eye. A small piece of it fell off on the ground.

“That will do.” said Nanya surprised.

With a big smile, I turned around and walked towards the entrance. As soon as I took my first step into it, I received the following messages:

[Warning! You have entered an Enemy’s Dungeon Territory!]

[Dungeon Core Normal Detected. Level 102]

[Dungeon Territory is under attack] <The Enemy’s Dungeon Territory is weaker than yours>

[Enemy’s Dungeon Territory has been shattered]

[Dungeon Core Normal Destroyed]

[Your Level has increased]

I blinked and looked at the messages.

“What? So there’s no dungeon here?” asked Nanya surprised as she stepped passed me.

“No… there was… I just destroyed it… by taking one step through the entrance.” I told her, trying hard not to cry.

My big dream of dungeon crawling just went down the drain.

“Dungeon Dominance? Why did you use that? I thought you wanted to go exploring?” asked Nanya raising an eyebrow.

I groaned, then I sighed and dropped on my knees.


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One small step for dungeon man, one large leap for dungeon kind.