Dungeon Maker - chapter 101
Thanks to the cooperation of the mad Oros, the task of taking control of the Free City was going smoothly.
Some of the outlaws had noticed that the Free City was now in the hands of the House of Mammon and had rebelled. However, that fell short of a typhoon in a teacup.
Out of the three factions, the outlaws were the most sensitive to strength and weakness. Most outlaws instinctively realized that they needed to conform to the new order. There were only a few who wanted to oppose the new order.
Moreover, those who were reckless or insane enough to cause violence among that small minority disappeared without a sound, even before they knew the full truth. All of this was Ophelia’s handy work.
Ophelia and Oros made the most intelligent and cooperative of Dargon’s men, the Orc Mage Yukon, the new leader of the outlaw faction. Once again, the backlash was weak. This was because there was no one other than Yukon who was a potential candidate.
This was the result of the screening operation.
All of those that had the ability and charisma to lead a group of lawless men were either killed in the battle against Agares, suddenly disappeared one day, or left the Free City on their own feet.
The mad Oros was a wise man, unlike his epithet.
He knew a storm was coming from the west. If he hadn’t gotten on board, then it would have caused trouble for the large ship, that was the House of Mammon. They were preparing to withstand that very storm.
Oros’s very cooperative nature had saved Ophelia more time and energy beyond what she had initially thought.
And the result led to an earlier-than-scheduled visit to the House of Mammon.
“Ophelia, the daughter of Endelyon, greets the master of the House of Mammon.
Ophelia, who showed her usual grace, greeted Eligor and the other spirits one after another. Catalina smiled, Skull chuckled, and Eligor showed a complex expression of both happiness and terror.
Now that the dungeon had restructured, it took quite some time to walk from the dungeon’s entrance room to the throne room.
Since Yong-Ho was a practical person, he had a conversation with Ophelia while they were on the move.
Almost all of it was regarding the situation in the Free City.
Ophelia, an information trader, knew exactly how to handle information. She knew how to wrap or distort, and knew how to concisely deliver only the most essential news.
So as they arrived at the throne room, they were already done talking about the Free City, There was nothing more to share.
However, Ophelia wasn’t here just to talk about the Free City.
“We’re going to need a new dungeon.”
Ophelia spread a map of the Southern Region across a large table in the newly constructed conference room beside the throne room. Colored pieces of wood, that had been prepared in advance, were placed on the map as indicators of power.
It looked quite different from before.
It felt like the vicinity surrounding the Free City had been emptied.
The three dungeons of Foras, Ale and Yubing had all disappeared. While the dungeons of Abigail and Jungerous had virtually less than half the power of before, and moreover the Free City was now entirely under the House of Mammon’s control.
Ophelia pointed to the west of the Southern Region.
“The fight in the west is now escalating. Fortunately, it’s not going to be settled in a single battle, but, as I first expected, it’s going to last for another two to three months at the most.
The Wolf Demon King, Embrio, was doing well against the Western Owner’s Alliance, which included almost all of the western dungeon owners. Despite dozens of days of fighting, he wasn’t being pushed back.
“The need for a new dungeon is to prepare for the end of the fight in the west.”
Ophelia stopped speaking and took a breath. She opened up a new map of the western and southern border area.
“The Southern Region is full of empty land, but there is still roads in place across the border. They lead to a vital strategic point.”
Several lines had been drawn on the map. All the lines looked like they were drawn at random, however they all had one thing in common. They all passed a single point on the map.
“Whether the Western Owner’s Alliance or Embrio wins, it’s likely that the winner will want to consume the south. So we need a fortress to stop them.”
It was difficult to capture a fortress built on a vital strategic point.
Some would just ignore the fortress, pass by it and attack somewhere else, but that was a very dangerous idea.
Of course, it wasn’t impossible. It could be a very effective strategy, if certain conditions were established.
In most situations, however, this was not the case. Ignoring the heavily armed fortress and passing it by, was the equivalent of turning your back against a sword wielding opponent.
“The dungeon would act as both a powerful fortress and a deterrent. Building a defensive dungeon at this point will effectively negate any western threats.”
The House of Mammon was no longer a declining family in the Southern Region. It was a powerful family of the south.
Yong-Ho looked at Ophelia’s map carefully.
There was already a dungeon in place at that strategic point.
We’re going to have to target the dungeon of the House of Randolt.”
“Yes, you must force the owner of Randolt’s dungeon to surrender, or personally take it over by launching an attack. If he surrenders to one of the western powers, or makes way for them, then both the Free City and the House of Mammon will be in danger.
Yong-Ho touched his chin for a moment and organized his thoughts. He asked Ophelia.
“Will the master of the House of Randolt, consider a surrender?”
“The possibilities are fifty-fifty. He is a man who does not behave rashly, as evidenced by his past actions. He’s also extremely cautious.”
The master of the Randolt family simply stayed in his dungeon in the midst of a number of short-lived events. When the House of Foras was exploited by Jungerous, he remained silent, and he didn’t even make a move when the Free City was exposed to the threat of Agares.
“If we have to attack… it’s going to take a long time to fortify the dungeon again.”
“Yes, you saw it right away. We don’t now how the Randolt family will behave, but if you get your hands on the House of Randolt’s dungeon, then you’ll need to look at if from a slightly different perspective than Mammon’s dungeon. It’s not a castle that serves as a living space… You need to look at it as a battle-ready fortress. The renovations of the dungeon will also have to proceed in that direction. And-”
Ophelia took a breath. She suppressed her excitement and spoke in a calm voice.
“It won’t be easy acquiring Randolt’s dungeon. While it’s important to have a necessary amount of time for fortification, it’s even more important to carefully attack with causing any significant damage. You’ll need to be fully prepared.”
It was a valid point.
Although Yong-Ho had attacked the dungeons of Ale and Yubing in a row, both dungeons were almost completely devoid of any spirits guarding those dungeons.
The fight against the House of Randolt would be the first official dungeon attack that Yong-Ho had attempted.
“I understand. You’re incredibly competent.”
At Yong-Ho’s straightforward praise, rather than being humble, Ophelia showed a graceful smile. Ophelia was like an alluring temptress disguised as a pure maiden.
“Okay, I’ll leave the preparations of Randolt’s attack to you, Ophelia. Organise what you need and report back to me.”
“Yes, Master. I’ll follow your will.”
Ophelia, once again, gracefully showed respect. Yong-Ho looked at Rikum, who was sitting in the corner of the conference room.
“Rikum help Ophelia. The Orcs are going to be involved in this attack, so I would like you to especially focus on training.”
Rikum also showed Yong-Ho his respect.
There were two reasons for the mobilization of the Orcs.
The first was to minimize the damage of the attack. The more overwhelming their power was, the less potential damage would be caused by needless fighting.
The second was for the Orc’s growth.
The best way to build one’s evolution rate was to risk one’s life. The fiercer the fight, the greater the increase of the evolution rate.
He didn’t intend to force the Orcs into danger just for growth, but he couldn’t just leave them in a safe place.
The meeting was concluded.
As Rikum left the conference room, Yong-Ho began to talk about something else.
“I forgot to give you these earlier. It’s a gift for you Eligor.”
Inside the box, which Catalina had fetched from Yong-Ho’s from, was a pair of manacles. It was the item that he had obtained after he cleared the fourth floor of the arena.
Eligor had a look of emotion as he received the manacles. They weren’t simply an ordinary pair of manacles, as Yong-Ho had personally chosen them, with the power of Greed, from the arena. Despite their lightness, they seemed very firm, and there was no inconvenience regarding mobility of one’s fingers or wrists.
No further words of thanks were required. Eligor’s eyes had already begun to fill with tears.
Come to think of it, it was the first time he had given something to Eligor, other then the bracelet.
‘I need to care of him more often.’
It was a similar feeling for Yong-Ho as when he gave his mother a present on Mother’s Day.
Ophelia’s eyes glistened as she watched Eligor receive the pair of manacles. She smiled and looked at Yong-Ho, as if she was asking, ‘Is there anything for me?’.
Yong-Ho now felt like he had switched roles. Instead he now felt like a parent with multiple children. He smiled and held out an anklet made of Brigada. He gave a short and concise explanation on the anklet’s properties to Ophelia, who’s eyes were glistening with happiness.
“Certainly… it won’t be easy.”
Ophelia, who had dealt with the power of Greed in the past, spoke while a slight trickle of sweat. Ophelia, who was quite confident in her mana control, knew that it was a power that couldn’t be easily handled. However, it was also true that she was motivated to succeed. If she could handle it properly, then she would be able to achieve growth in an innovative way.
“The longer you spend training with it, the more efficient you’ll become. So please continue to work hard, despite its difficulties.”
It was something he had heard from Gusion.
Brigada not only amplified the power of the Seven Deadly Sins, but also stored them. Therefore, if Brigada was used for a long time, then it was possible for a subordinate to access the power of the Seven Deadly Sins even without the support of the master. Of course, it would be less powerful than if Yong-Ho himself applied it.
After asking Ophelia to train Eligor and Skull, Yong-Ho, alongside Catalina, headed towards the arena.
The reason why Yong-Ho had Catalina accompany him every time he went to the arena was simple.
It was to prepare for Yong-Ho’s own potential defeat.
Kaiwan always went to and fro from the arena alone, and then one day she went missing.
There was no one powerful enough to save Kaiwan in the Mammon family at the time, but it was clear that the fate of Cayeene and the House of Mammon would have been a little different if they had known exactly where and how Kaiwan went missing.
At least the chances of Endelyon leaving the House of Mammon would have been greatly reduced.
Yong-Ho, along with Catalina, practiced how to use Brigada, as they travelled to the arena.
Yong-Ho regained his breath as he gathered up the power of Greed, Just like habit, he opened the door to the arena.
However, as Yong-Ho was on the verge of entering the arena. Catalina suddenly spoke up more loudly than normal.
Yong-Ho turned around. Astonished by her own voice, Catalina quickly swallowed her dry saliva. She took a large breath as she faced Yong-Ho. And then spoke with slightly drooping ears.
“I have a favor to ask of you.”
Yong-Ho completely turned towards Catalina. It was no exaggeration to say that Catalina has stuck by his side ever since he had come to the demon world.
It wasn’t a short amount of time either. And during that time, Catalina had never revealed her needs.
But now Catalina was asking him for a favor. Yong-Ho had no choice but to take her seriously.
Catalina swallowed her saliva again. Her ears straightened as she faced Yong-Ho. For the first time, she revealed her desires.
“I want to challenge the first floor of the arena. Please let me.”
Her demand was a concern. Yong-Ho spoke to rebuke her.
“The penalty is different from mine. Moreover, it can be incredibly dangerous.”
Kaiwan travelled alone to prevent the spirits of the Mammon family from challenging the arena.
As Gusion had warned, the arena’s penalties were harsher for ordinary spirits.
Catalina knew that. But she couldn’t give up. It wasn’t something she asked with complacency.
“But Master. I’m your guard.”
She wanted to be strong. As the heir to the King of Greed, she wanted to stand by her master’s side as he was advancing. She wanted to catch up to him even by just a little bit.
That was the relationship between the master and spirit. Yong-Ho could feel Catalina’s sincerity. He felt her intense growing desire.
He couldn’t refuse such a sincere request. Yong-Ho nodded.
“Okay. But only after you’re able to handle Brigada a little better.”
“Okay. I’ll try. Thank-you so much for allowing me.”
Catalina was delighted, evident by her flapping ears. Yong-Ho unknowingly patted Catalina’s head.
He then fully turned around to enter the arena. However, there was one more voice that caught Yong-Ho’s attention.
[The door of space has reached 50% completion.]
Lucia suddenly gave a report, which caused Yong-Ho to pause. He patted Catalina’s head, as she was wondering what was going on, and then, once again, headed to the arena.
‘The door of space.’
A world that he had forgotten.
The time was approaching for Yong-Ho to go back home.