Our return and the destruction of the mansion meant that Old Chalm was finally reclaimed. This also meant a great deal of celebration. I drank with all of the Adventuring buddies. Big sis cried and hugged me in her chest until all three of my girls started pinching me. It really hurt too! We broke into a jug that had been sitting in some basement and allowed to age for 20 years. It was quite good. After that, things got fuzzy for a while.
When the Guild Master and Mayor wanted to pull me aside for a bit, I cast refresh on myself so I could focus on business.
“Deek, I never would have believed a month ago that you would have teleported into the dungeon and then defeat it in that time. You are truly a dungeon diver of some skill. I don’t know where you came from, but you have deeply impressed me.” The Mayor bowed. “For everything you have done for Chalm, I’d like to recognize you as our Lord.”
“We’re sorry that the ladies escaped us. When you disappeared, they seemed to know you were in that dungeon, but we had no proof. We tried to watch after them, but the two girls were very determined to be by your side, whatever the cost.” The Guild Master sighed. “Until earlier today, I didn’t know if any of you were still alive. It left a heavy feeling on my heart.”
“Sorry to worry you guys, things sort of just happened.” I tried to laugh it off, even though I knew exactly how dangerous and reckless my actions had been.
“Do you still plan to free the girls?” The Guild Master asked.
“I… right now it seems I am unable to. Upon completing the dungeon, my blessing won’t allow me to release a slave!” I showed them the tattoo on my shoulder.
I went on to reveal that I had completed the lore, not destroyed it, both men were certainly surprised. However, thankfully they understood that this was information I didn’t want spread, and agreed to keep it quiet between us and my slaves of course.
I ended up giving the pair a quick and dirty version of the events, including the story about what happened to Karr. The Guild Master sat thoughtfully, nodding his head and listening carefully. The mayor occasionally gasped or offered his interpretations of things. When I was finally done, the group was silent for a bit.
“The town has spoken,” The mayor explained. “And agree that you need not be required to free your girls, so if you can’t I’d say we’ll just leave it at that.”
I thought about what Karr had said in that dungeon. Do they even want to be free?
“I will continue to look for a way to free them.” I grimaced. “I owe them the choice. But if they want to stay by my side, I won’t reject them. Tsk… what kind of blessing prevents you from releasing slaves!”
“The same kind that also keeps them from being taken forcefully?” The Guild Master offered. “I can’t say I understand much about dungeons and dungeon lore. You’re the first man I’ve ever seen who has completed and combined with the lore of a dungeon. More-so, you’ve done it twice now. Once is a fluke, but twice… you really are something.”
“It was just two flukes…” I sighed. “If I had never met Celeste, there was no way I could have completed the lore. It was the similarities between Karr and me that allowed me to help them reach their end.”
I decided not to explain Combination skills to them. Well, I only had a pinch of fairy dust left, basically what didn’t fall out of the bottle. Once that was used up, I wouldn’t be able to obtain more.
“Well, in the end, I think you did well, my boy.” The Guild Master nodded.
“The thing I want to know is…what’s the deal with my mansion!” I demand.
The two men turned green for a second.
“Ah… that…” The Mayor blushed. “Well, I mean… the deed is yours…”
“Relax.” The Guild Master laughed. “We’re going to rebuild it. Everyone in town owes you. You didn’t want a rusty old mansion anyway. We’ll build you something new. You can even have some input into it if you want. A garden, a pool, a bathhouse? Just say what you want, and we’ll definitely do our best to build it.”
“Ah… that makes me feel more relaxed… but that will still be months before we have a place to stay. I was hoping to move into something a little more permanent.”
“Actually, this works out perfectly!” The Mayor forms a grin much like a cat. “Because we have another mission for you, and the new one will take a couple months!”
I let out a sigh. Why am I not surprised?
It was sometime later when I finally returned to the place we had been given after leaving the alchemist’s building. Since the girls had abandoned it weeks ago, it was quite dusty. Without asking, the girls immediately went to work cleaning it up. I told them to just make it nice enough to stay a few nights. It looked like we’d be leaving the city soon on a new adventure. I still had questions to ask the guild master on this new quest, but that could wait until the morning.
This would be the first night I could sleep in a bed since I had entered that dungeon, and I planned to really enjoy it. Since I had such a storage ring, maybe I should get some kind of portable bed. It’d take up a third of the ring, but it would totally be worth it. I was pulling out items from my ring and going through all the riches we had gained.
I made sure to not be clear to the Guild Master and Mayor how much I brought home. It felt a lot like lying, but at the same time, I suspected if I told them how much riches I had, they might give me some sob story about how the city lord was responsible for helping his people rebuild or something. The two men weren’t bad men. They meant well and I didn’t believe they were trying to screw me over, but they were also a bit singularly focused when it came to their decisions.
The door opened and I looked up to see Celeste stepping into my room. Since she had grown in size upon her evolution, I had noticed her walking a lot more. It would be awkward if she was floating around the room even though she was the size of a normal girl. Now that I could see her at full size, I could truly appreciate her beauty. Her glittery pink hair, her soft features, her ample bosom… Celeste was a very beautiful woman, much like her mother had been before she had turned dark.
“What is it, Celeste?”
Celeste looked down, holding her hands in front of her nervously. “The other two girls told me they were busy cleaning. They said I should… um… entertain Master for the night, since we had previously not done so.”
“Ah.. sorry, I’m not really in the mood to play games…”
“M-master… that’s not what they meant…” Her face flushed and she grew even shier, “I mean… you and me…”
“Ah!” I sat up. “You mean… ah… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to embarrass you. You want to… I mean, are you sure?”
“Y-yes… since I first met Master, I’ve wanted to…”
“Well, I mean, you kept calling me a pervert and I kind of had the impression sex wasn’t that interesting to you without fairy dust.”
“Th-that was when I was a fairy, master.” She said nervously. “Rather, fairies are actually very provocative, but we lack the basic understanding of how to satisfy these wants. Plus, I was channeling my mother’s own disgust when it came to Lord Karr, I mean father.”
“So, what you’re saying is that the real you has always been hidden?”
She blushed and nodded. “For twenty years, I wandered the halls of that dungeon, half-ghost, half fairy… my mind was a muddled mess and I had no grasp on anything. I was in a prison of my mother’s making, and I didn’t even know it.
“Then, Master appeared… and you were kind and silly, and stern, and caring… and you were like a light in the darkness. My mind started to work again. I started to shake the influence of my mother, and come to understand my own individuality.
“But… as we got farther down, closer to the Fairy Queen, her anger and jealousy affected my fairy half. When you finally ordered me to be myself, my ghost half fused with my fairy half, and Mother’s call completely ruled me. However, even then, I felt compelled to follow you, to be by your side. You may say it was just the collar, but I feel it was more. When mother saw my collar, she grew furious and almost killed me. You transported me up to the 9th floor. Away from mother’s influence, I could finally regain my thoughts. That was when I realized I had to protect you. Yet, to protect you, I had to challenge my mother, and that lead to my current state.”
“So, now you’re a Fairy Queen?”
“I’m still a fairy, or rather a half-fairy. My true form is actually larger than normal fairies. A normal fairy is about six inches in size. I’m much bigger because of my humanity. Fairy Queen is more like an acquired subspecies. However… I am still incomplete… because…”
“Because your human half is gone!” I stood up. “Wait! Your ghost is still inside you, you carried it outside the dungeon and the curse is now broken! If that’s the case, then resurrection…”
“That’s right, Master… you can restore my life to me.”
“Alright, let’s do this.” I pulled the last pinch of fairy dust out from my pocket.
“Ah… Master! That’s the last of it!” She cried out. “If you use it up, you won’t have any more in the future.”
“I know… but I have to try.”
I also admit I had some hopes of getting more. I could always buy it in a shop if I got lucky. However, if Celeste was restored completely, maybe there was a chance she could produce fairy dust herself. I had been told that fairy dust came from fairy queens after all. That same dust also created fairies given the right circumstances. I wasn’t really looking to make my own fairy colony here, but I admit I was curious.
“You don’t really have to…” Celeste blushed. “We don’t know what will happen now that I evolved. If I reintroduce humanity back into my body now…”
It looked like Celeste was now having second thoughts. Before, she was just pondering the possibility. Now that she realized I was willing to do it, it became too real to her. Who knew how young she was when her human half had been destroyed. She was probably only a few months old. It was true, I really didn’t know what would happen if I resurrected her now. However, I wanted Celeste to have every opportunity, and somehow I felt that she would have more opportunities if she was more than just a mana creature with intelligence.
“Celeste… Resurrection!” As I said the words, I sprinkled the dust on Celeste.
I didn’t know if it was preferable to put the dust where I wanted to cast it or leave it a part of me, but it seemed to work either way. With my White Mage job equipped, I was no weaker at casting resurrection than Miki. Sure… I had to use Slave Master and Duplicate Slave Skill, so it was more wasteful, but it wouldn’t be weaker. A glowing appeared around Celeste as I worked the long magic that took almost a minute to cast. Fortunately, I had plenty of mana at my current level, and the spell finished without a problem.
When Celeste’s glow went away, I blinked to see that she was back down to her 18-inch form. The Fairy Queen that had been there at full size was nowhere present. Instead, her wings were gone and she took on a slightly ethereal form. She was still moving through the air, but it was as if she was doing so by warping the air itself.
I immediately checked her information.
Job: Master Wind Magician (Slave) — 1
Unlocked Jobs: Enchanter — 2, Adept Wind Magician — 22, Novice Magician — 50, Apprentice Magician — 25
“A Sylph? How did you turn into a Sylph!” I cried out.
So, she was a half-fairy whose human half was turned into a ghost that possessed her own form. That read as a House Fairy. She then defied her fairy queen and evolved into a Fairy Queen of her own. Now, upon reviving her human half, she somehow combined with her magic and elemental class and somehow became a Sylph. Isn’t that like an Air Elemental or something?
“M-master…” She panted.
Sylph was probably an extremely rare subspecies of fairy or even a subspecies of the subspecies Fairy Queen. Of everything I expected to happen, I didn’t expect her entire species to suddenly change.
“What is it?” I looked up to see her face flushed. “Oh…”
“Y-you used the fairy dust on me again…”
“It’s not supposed to work on Fairy Queens,” I responded tearfully. “Although… I guess you’re a Sylph now. Is it effective on Sylphs?”
She looked up at me desperately. “Very!”
It looked like I had to take responsibility after all.