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The Whimsical Dungeon 18 The Consultant's New Groove.

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When Crystal's avatar had died, her consciousness had immediately been forced, in its entirety, back into her core. It was hidden still, within the closet of her captain's quarters.

The wounds her avatar had received, along with the disorientating feeling of its sudden disappearance, had left her with a lingering sense of, something, something which she couldn't quite place.

'What is this weird feeling?' She pondered to herself, totally unable to recognize what that something was.

The dungeon core stared at the inside of the closet, illuminated only by the pink light which emanated from within her.

'I don't hate it at all,' she concluded, 'but I also don't like anything about it.'

Crystal wasn't really worried about the ongoing battle, as she had no doubt that daisy, her chosen captain, would win. She was loyal to the point of being fanatical, and she now possessed a literally indestructible pirate s.h.i.+p.

'There it is again,' she observed, the strange feeling had become even more noticeable as she thought of the lich. Though she was still unable to place what it was.

Crystal tried thinking only of Daisy in order to see how the feeling would react. She thought of how they had met, the short time they had shared together, the conversations... and Crystal felt nothing at all.

That was it. That was the feeling. It wasn't that something was there that shouldn't have been. It was that something was missing.

"Emotional instability. Apathy to be specific," her dungeon consultant chimed in its usual androgynous, monotone voice, "give it a moment and it will pa.s.s."

Crystal felt neither surprise, nor joy, nor fear at the voice's sudden appearance.

'Apathy?' Questioned Crystal. She knew what apathy was, but she didn't understand why she was feeling it.

"As I tried to clarify to you earlier, an avatar's death is not without a cost," the consultant continued.

"An avatar is an extension of a dungeon core's mind, its personality, thus, when an avatar dies, the personality is affected as well," she elaborated, "it will become both more severe, and harder to recover from the more frequently you fall into such a state."

"It may eventually become permanent," the consultant concluded.

'Oh,' Crystal replied calmly, not really caring one way or the other.

A few minutes later...

Daisy, having already reduced the enemy s.h.i.+p to rubble, arrived at the captain's quarters to report to her mistress.

There she found Crystal, standing on the opposite end of the room, wrapped up in a red silk blanket as she looked out the window.

The captain gave a small glance towards the closet to her right and noticed it was empty. Crystal was currently using her true avatar mode rather than her regular one.


"Mistress," she began, as she did a small salute, "we have successfully destroyed the enemy s.h.i.+p."

"Mhm, I knew you would," Crystal replied softly.

She then went silent for a moment before continuing.

"I believe I told you to call me Crystal instead of mistress, however," she joked, though there was something strange in her voice, it sounded oddly forced.

"Please," she added quietly..

Though the feeling of apathy pa.s.sed, just as the consultant had said it would, the memory, however, still lingered.

Daisy wanted to ask about it, but she could feel through the link they shared that Crystal didn't want to talk about it at all.

"...Crystal," Daisy said reluctantly.

"Yes?" replied Crystal. She turned around, a small smile on her face, brought on by the tiny victory over her subordinate.

"We only captured two of the enemies," the lich continued, "should we capture the rest, kill them, ourselves for the resources, or allow the island to kill them in our stead?"

Crystal facepalmed as she let out a groan.

"....Way to ruin the moment, numbskull," she sighed, a small, genuine smile on her face.

"Seriously," she mumbled, though her tone had somewhat improved, "I get the two murdery options. They're enemies, so survival of the fittest. I get it, I really do," she continued.

In truth however, she would be reluctant to kill for any reason other than self defence. Perhaps due to her previous life as a human, or perhaps to her newly acquired, defensive nature as a dungeon.

"But what point would there even be in capturing them?" Crystal questioned, "wouldn't they just end up being more mouths to feed?"

Daisy paused briefly upon hearing Crystal's words. She never expected a dungeon to be even less knowledgeable about dungeons then she herself was.

"I don't really know how dungeons work," she confessed, "all I know is that they absorb matter and energy, and then use it to create structures, traps, and monsters."

"Yep, it all gets turned into a currency called dungeon points," confirmed Crystal, "why?"

"well then, I don't know if they still exist, as it happened back when I was, uh, alive, but some dungeons I've heard of, used to, um, farm, people in order to get their energy. So I was just thinking..."

Her voice gradually trailed off as she spoke.

Daisy didn't really know what a dungeon would consider to be an insult, but to most people, dungeons that farmed humans or demihumans like cattle were considered to be among the most disgusting types.

Such dungeons were among the seven types of dungeons to be killed on site whenever possible. Right up there with moving dungeons, which were too unpredictable, dungeons which manipulated the dead, and dungeons which manipulated the mind, such as l.u.s.t dungeons...

Crystal then opened her dungeon menu...

[Dungeon menu

Level: 22

Starter traits: Envy, l.u.s.t

Abilities: [Manage core, Manage layout, Manage traps, Manage minions, Manage avatar,]

DP: 2,392,053 -996/Hr (Recoil: -1000/hour)

Traits: [Dungeon avatar(Free(Envy)), Dungeon consultant(1TP), Spatial manipulation(2TP) Indestructible(5TP)]

TP: 14 + 1/Lvl]

"Ooh, you're right!" Crystal exclaimed excitedly, "the DP per hour actually went down!"

Daisy, however, noticed something strange in the way Crystal had said that.

"Down?" She asked in confusion, "don't you mean it went up?"

Crystal happily turned the floating blue window around and showed it to the lich.

"No, it went down, see," she said, indicating towards the DP the dungeon now lost with each pa.s.sing hour, "The amount of DP I lose every hour went down by three."

"We should capture the rest so that we can bring it down even more, and the people can also survive better that way," she added, "it's win-win."

She made a 'V,' for victory, with her index and middle finger as she said so.

Daisy ignored it and stared instead at the screen for a moment, taking it all in, though she had no actual point of context on how much one DP actually was worth.

"Am I able to access this menu as well?" She questioned.

Crystal thought about it for a moment before referring the question to a reliable third party.

"Consultant, same question," said Crystal.

The consultant replied in a manner as prompt as ever, though, as always, only heard by the dungeon core herself.

"Not unless you accept her as either your owner, or as your partner. Both of which are irreversible, and not recommended," the consultant began, "It would easy to do if she held no other role within the dungeon, however."

"Or," she continued, "If you were to upgrade the 'Dungeon consultant' trait, two times, into the 'Dungeon a.s.sistant' trait, you would be able to have the trait act as an intermediary between the dungeon menu, and anyone who you give permission to. there are also other, more significant benefits as well."

"...How much TP are we talking here?" Crystal questioned hesitantly.

Four TP or more and she would refuse without a doubt, as indestructibility was only five after all.

"Three," came the immediate reply.

Crystal mulled it over for a moment before letting out another sigh.

"Uh, fine," she grumbled, "just shut up and take my money, already."

The consultant then went silent as it upgraded.
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Moments later just as Crystal was mumbling something about 'the problem with digital currencies, nowadays,' the dungeon a.s.sistant spoke her first words in its new role, surprising both Daisy and Crystal.

Its voice had become somewhat feminine, and now contained a hint of actual emotion. But that was not why they were surprised. It was what the a.s.sistant had said, not how she said it.

"There appears to be someone at the door," she stated simply.

The statement was followed immediately by a knock on said door.

Tina had been surprised when, upon arriving at the place where the mysterious s.h.i.+p now sat in order to negotiate the terms of her group's surrender, that the name on the s.h.i.+p had said 'The Ashen Maiden.'

She immediately recognized the name upon seeing it, but sadly she could not recall the information about it in much detail. Tina only knew about it from a fairy tale she had heard as a child after all.

'The monster, the liar, and the fool,' a story meant to teach to children the lessons of, 'evil is as evil does,' and 'appearances can be deceiving.' It was a sad story with no happy ending for anyone involved.

The catkin leapt from the sh.o.r.e and dug her claws into the s.p.a.ce between the s.h.i.+p's boards. She then promptly began climbing the side of the s.h.i.+p, quickly reaching one of the s.h.i.+p's port holes. Using it as a foothold, she then kicked off of it and landed on the s.h.i.+p's main deck in a crouched position. Not a single one of her movements had made any sound at all.

There was really no need for stealth, as most of the skeletons had decided to suddenly begin pursuing the fleeing enemies due to some unspoken command, and the rest were all below deck. She still felt it necessary, however, due to her catlike nature.

'Maybe I'll do a bit of recon first,' she decided, 'your average necromancer is one thing, but if the s.h.i.+p itself is real, he could be as well...'

'No. Who knows what they'd do if I were caught spying on them,' thought Tina as she walked through the door to the officer's quarters, and towards the door to the captain's quarters...

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