“You would dare attack me for a human?” The Dark Fairy Queen snarled.
As soon as she spoke, countless spells came hurtling towards her. Celeste began moving, successfully dodging several attacks, but still getting hit by others. She may have evolved into a Fairy Queen, whatever that meant, but her levels and status were still the same. Her mother had attacked her before and managed to bring her down to nearly dying within a minute. The only difference between now and then was me!
“Armor!” I cast a protective spell on her, “Moderate Heal! Sanctify Land!”
I began to layout every spell I could. With her mother focused on Celeste, I had a few moments of breath to start building up my magical defenses. I downed the last of my mana potions which I had been saving for a rainy day and then started to attack with my own spells. I had to juggle with my jobs, trying to maintain Hero and Slave Master so that she had status up bonuses for being in my party and my slave, but then I needed to switch back to White Mage frequently so that I could cast spells and keep healing her. Damn, I really needed a third job slot!
I used Basic Monster Identify on her, but I wasn’t able to get any information. Evil Eye also scouted no weaknesses. This, I wasted another pinch of fairy dust and used God Eye. With that, I was able to see she had no weaknesses. Ah… wonderful. I also found out her name was Astria.
The battle went on, but I found myself running out of mana quickly. Furthermore, I had squandered a lot of the waters of life I had in reserves. Simply put, I only saw us able to remain able to fight for another few minutes. Whether the Dark Fairy Queen was going easy on us because Celeste was her daughter, I didn’t know but hoping her body would give out suddenly and we’d win this fight was impossible. Something had to change.
“Celeste!” I called out, “Keep distracting her!”
That was a stupid thing to yell out in front of a sentient boss. I was too used to dealing with dumb monster mobs who didn’t understand English! The dark queen turned to me and began launching attacks. I began to run, heading for the staircase.
“See, daughter? See how humans run? He’s leaving you now to die. That is just their hidden nature. Your father was just the same! You’re lucky you never met him.”
“I met his ghost…” Celeste shook her head, “He was a man full of guilt and repentance.”
“There was no repentance for what that man did to me!”
“What did he do? Cheat on you? Sleep with other animalgirls? What’s so wrong with that? If he still loved us… if he still owned us and took care of us… then why was his fate so cruel?”
The Queen grimaced. “He impregnated me with you, but still he fornicated with animalkin slavegirls for his own delight. How can you love a man just like him?”
As Astria said those words, she pointed at me. I wanted to deny it, but it was true. I had been sleeping with animalkin slave girls. I didn’t recall seducing Celeste, let alone getting her pregnant, but the words the Fairy Queen said cut deep into my own insecurities. I wanted to believe that Lydia and Miki loved me for me. Maybe, I had hoped the same from Celeste. However, they were all slaves. I had various charms, and Slave Loyalty and Mina’s blessing even added more slave affection. I slept with them because they were beautiful and I was weak-willed, but could I really call myself better. Would they love me once I set them free and they were no longer being manipulated by cheat skills?
My movements began to slow down as I felt the crushing blow of her words. It was one thing to carry these doubts myself. It was another thing to hear them out loud. Lore did like to repeat itself. Was I any better than the Lord of this mansion? I was no longer sure.
“I love him…” Celeste’s words were unwavering, and it caused me to stop and look over at her. “That is why I became a Fairy Queen… because I will no longer be a drone controlled by you. For twenty years, I was trapped in this dungeon, torn between my human and spiritual parts. Half of me wanted to flee, while the other half was compelled to remain as a good little fairy. I was supposed to follow the Fairy Queen, but you haven’t been a true fairy queen for years! I’ve made my choice… I’ve chosen freedom!”
“He will betray you…” Astria growled.
“I don’t care if he loves other women, as long as I can have just a bit of his love, it’s all I want.” Celeste shot back.
“C-celeste…” I stopped with one foot on the stairway.
She turned to me and smiled. “Go… escape while you have the chance. I can’t give you the waters of life, but I will give you the only thing I’ve been able to take as my own… my life.”
“Foolish girl! Then die!” The Fairy began to throw more violent attacks at Celeste.
My heart was beating fast, and a shot of adrenaline shot through me. I race up to the library as quickly as I could. Touching the kiosk, I registered myself. I could now travel to the 29th floor. Just as I was about to switch position, my eyes landed on the mural. The last part of the story. It depicted Karr. He was an older man now. He had formed the city of Chalm and was starting to free the slaves. Then he…
I paused, my eyes widening. A moment later, they narrowed, anger spreading out from me. “You bastard… that’s what you did? Switch Position!”
The battle between Celeste and her mother continued, but there was no way Celeste could get the upper hand, especially given how much more powerful her mother was. The only thing she could do was hold on, but even with a renewed sense of determination, within five minutes her mana was exhausted and she had taken various wounds.
She stared up, shaking as her mother flew over her head, looking down at her with a sneer. “I won’t let you make the mistakes I did. I’d rather see you dead!”
“I-I love Master!” Celeste smiled anyway, a tear falling down her cheek. “I made no mistakes, and I regret nothing!”
The spell exploded out toward Celeste, but a sword sliced through it, causing it to break. Celeste looked up to see us standing there. Lydia and Miki were completely unhesitant when I had teleported in. I was just glad they had remained near the library rather than desperately trying to race down. Well, that wasn’t true. They had teleported back down to the 25th floor and were single-handedly trying to fight their way through the flood of ghosts. They had left a wake of death, but considering the number and time involved, that only meant they were about twenty feet from the door. I simply teleported in Miki’s place, grabbed Lydia, and then ran for the library. Two teleports later, we were all in the boss’s room. This was cheating, right? Well, it’s not cheating if it’s in the game, that’s what I always said.
“You… came for me?” Celeste said in wonder.
“She can talk!” Miki let out a cry, but I bonked her on the head immediately.
“Since Master made you his slave, I knew you must be amazing!” Lydia declared. “I will definitely fight by your side. Anyone who loves Master is okay in my book.”
“Ahn… they heard…” Celeste blushed, touching her cheeks.
“Keep her busy, will you?” I called out, grabbing Miki.
“You treacherous human, you know I can still hear you, right?” Astria screeched.
“Yeah? But you’re going to like this one, so don’t stop me!”
With that, I pulled out the entire remaining portion of fairy dust. As soon as she saw it, Astria’s eyes widened in alarm. “What are you doing?”
“Me? I’m bringing you some closure!” I dumped the entire remaining contents on Miki’s head.” Miki! Do it!”
White light exploded from Miki’s hands. I had a theory that her Resurrection spell wouldn’t be simple. With more regeant fairy dust, I predicted it would be able to act stronger. In this case, I needed the spell to work at maximum strength. It always left me wondering why a resurrection spell would destroy a ghost. The second I saw Karr disappear, I had wondered if he was really gone.
That got me thinking that perhaps all it did was free him from the curse. His spirit was still in this dungeon, trapped, but it was no longer bound to serve as Astria’s level 20 boss. As to where it went? It was probably wondering the halls, much in the same way I had found Celeste.
Spiritualist might gain a ghost summoning ability eventually, but Miki didn’t have anything like that right now. The only thing she had was Resurrection, however this was a special resurrection formed from the ability Mana Control. This led to my second thought. If someone died in a dungeon, they were not able to be resurrected. This was because the dungeon trapped their spiritual energy and kept them from leaving, and the curse ate away their spiritual energy. I reckoned that if a priest was brought directly into the dungeon, they might be able to resurrect a spirit. This involved literally pulling the spirit out of the clutches of the curse, but I believed it could be possible.
It’d just require a powerful priest and a spirit that was fresh. What I had instead was a spirit “accepted” by the dungeon, Karr, so that he wasn’t being consumed for energy and an OP version of Resurrection that I could sub with additional fairy dust. The result…
The bright light began to coalesce and form into the body of a man. I worried that Astria would attack while we were casting this spell, which took over a minute. When the spell finally finished, an old man was sitting there on his knees. He looked up, glancing around, confusion on his face.
“What… happened? Wait… Astria? Is that you?”
Astria hissed, backing away. “Karr… how… you’re alive!”
I nodded. “Yup, I brought him back. Lord Karr of Chalm. My slave here has managed to resurrect you within this dungeon. It took two resurrections actually, and the second one cost a king’s ransom in fairy dust, but I knew it was the only way to finally get things out in the open.”
Astria snarled. “I know everything he has done! How dare you bring him back!”
“I didn’t bring him back to answer to you!” I shot back, causing the Dark Fairy Queen to balk. “I brought him back to answer her!”
My finger landed on Celeste. She flew back down and landed on her feet, staring at the man in front of her with a complicated expression.
“A-another fairy queen?” Karr said in wonder.
“No…” I shook my head. “Your daughter.”
Karr’s mouth fell open. It was clear he hadn’t realized he had a daughter. Astria had been pregnant with Karr’s baby when he fell ill and died.
“Karr… I want you to explain to your daughter what you did!” I snapped. “I want you to explain what you did to those fairies.”
Karr’s pupils shrank to pinpoints and he shot me a look. “You know?”
I nodded. “What do you think this place is? When you died, Astria found out the truth. She turned your entire mansion into a prison so that no one could resurrect you. It’s been twenty years since that day.”
“Twenty years…” Karr closed his eyes and shook his head. “I remember now… I have earned your ire, my love… I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t call me that…” Astria growled. “You have no right!”
“I don’t get it…” Celeste demanded. “Father, what did you do?”
“I…” He lowered his head and sighed, unable to say the words.
“Remember when he accidentally revealed the location of the fairy spring, and they were attacked and enslaved?” I spoke up. “It was no accident. He told them where it was. He gave the fairies to the slavers on purpose!”