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Chapter 725

“Where are we going now, Master?” Carmine asked after we spent a night at the ruins.

I walked out and stretched, considering if I should catch another tiger. I didn’t think even that animal could hold both of us on it, so I decided against it. I had left my horse tied by the fort. He was undead, however, so it probably wasn’t a big deal if he stayed there a while. It wasn’t like he was going to starve to death.

“We’ll need to go back to the fort,” I explained.

She was the princess, and the fort was the place she was supposed to return to. However, just bringing her there would change the course of events for this dungeon. The lore would begin to change, and I couldn’t say whether it’d even be possible to satisfy the lore if it didn’t run the same way as the story suggested. The Demon Prince was supposed to take the princess back to his castle, they’d fall in love, and then the humans would attack the demons trying to reclaim her. At least, that’s how the story seemed to be going.

The other reason I wanted to return to the fort was to see if there was another safe room and Greggar’s test there. I was interested in gaining the next reward. I still had the Star Potion in my hand. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use it or not. There was no guarantee what it would do. I could use God-eye on it, but I wanted to be cautious and not rush things.

“Just do it, Master!”

“W-wait! Stop!”

Carmine caught me looking at the bottle with a frown and so she swiped it from my hand and then pinched a bit of fairy dust on it. At this point, it’d be impossible to recover it, so I might as well use God-eye. With a sigh, I used the skill to look at the Star Potion more in-depth.”

{Star Potion – An ancient potion made from stardust and created by a dungeon. It will restore a person to their complete selves, in body, mind, and spirit.}

“Wait… isn’t this exactly what I needed?” I cried out as I read what the God-eye just told me to Carmine.

“Yes! Master, this might be able to repair your soul. You’ll be back to full strength! It’ll fix the damage of your soul.”

“What about the blessings and my slave connections?”

“I don’t know, Master.” She shook her head. “You’ll just have to try it and see.”

I nodded. “Very well.”

I took the potion and popped it open, and then immediately downed the vial in a single motion. It tasted bitter, like cough syrup, but I made sure to drink the entire thing rather than guess at it. A moment later, I could feel a warmth growing throughout my body. My connection to Carmine suddenly returned.

“I can feel you as my slave again!”

“It’s working!”

I suddenly felt something burning and hot around my throat. It felt like the dark magic was fighting back. My eyes bulged as I suddenly felt like I was being choked.

“Master!” I collapsed to the ground as Carmine cried out with worry.

A moment later, I felt a crack, and then the pressure around my neck disappeared.

{The dark seal has been broken.}

“Finally, my true power has been unlocked!” I cried out.

“What?”

“Sorry, I just always wanted to say that.”

Chapter 726

After the seal broke, not much else happened. I felt like I had more energy and strength, but I didn’t feel any different.

“Has my personality changed again?” I asked.

“Let’s see… heads or tails.” She flipped a coin.

“Oh! Um… Uh…”

She caught it. “Nope.”

I glowered. “I would have picked it… it would have been… Crap.”

“I was worried that might happen.” She admitted. “You were able to heal the damage to your soul, but it’s like regrowing an arm. It’s just not the same.”

She said that like it was a very normal thing to say. I had heard that even arms could be reattached or grown from nothing with the right magic, but as a White Mage, I still hadn’t gotten a spell powerful enough to do it.

“H-have you ever had to regrow an arm?” I asked, suddenly feeling a bit suspicious.

“No!’ She cried out, blushing. “That.. never happened…”

Although she said that, she wasn’t looking me in the eyes.

“Carmine…”

“I just heard from a friend… that it’s never the same. Like it never feels quite like the first arm. That’s not saying it’s worse or better, just that it’s new.”

I shook my head deciding not to ask any more questions on that, as she already looked sufficiently bullied.

“Whatever, so you’re saying that the piece of soul I lost is gone now.”

“Well, if it exists, it isn’t a part of you anymore. You have a complete soul once again.”

“Your slave bond restored, but the other girls didn’t…” I still couldn’t feel them.

Carmine’s expression grew a bit worried. “I know. It almost felt like my connection to the weaker part of your soul was severed, and then reconnected to you. The other girls are likely too distant, so it was not able to create a connection with them.

“My blessings are also gone,” I said, looking at my arms and legs which were blissfully free from them.

“You may not ever be able to recover those blessings, Master.”

I took a deep breath but then nodded to myself. The tattoos weren’t exactly something I wanted. As for the benefits they gave me, they did allow me numerous affinities and perks, but I was never terribly comfortable with most of what they gave me, and I often considered them curses as much as blessings. They had forced the girls to remain my slaves, even if they wanted to leave. They had increased their affinity for me, making them feel things that might have exceeded what was natural.

Although I had accepted their love, and vowed to accept the love of all the women in my life, that didn’t mean I wasn’t always aware of my slave affinity.

 I still had my points, and that was what mattered. Then again, it’d be nice if I had at least one tattoo so I could re-access the dungeon store.

On that note, I tried to cast a Portal, only for it to fizzle out. I didn’t have my ability to travel out of the dungeon. Even if I had the blessing, giving the strange nature of this dungeon that supposedly sat in a bubble outside of reality, I had no clue how good my Portal was.

I cast Portal one more time, this time aiming for the fort. The Portal opened without a problem. As long as we were within the same area of a dungeon, it would work. At least we had resolved the issue with walking. Carmine and I took a step through and returned to the fort.

Chapter 727

“It’s the princess! Open the gate!”

They were much more open and friendly when I returned with Carmine behind me than previously. We had been seen walking down the path and the skeleton sentry immediately responded. By the time we entered the castle, the Skeleton commander I had met earlier ran down to meet us, an ecstatic look on his face.

“Drakus… you’ve done it! You’ve saved the princess!” He let out a laugh.

Carmine wore a weak smile and waved as the men all around her cheered. After all, she was a Paladin. Undead was her mortal enemy, and now she was being surrounded and worshipped by them. I hadn’t thought about it earlier, but I perhaps should have checked how she felt about them more before I dragged her into this situation.

“Drakus, you have prevented a war! For your accomplishments, you will be granted an increase in rank. I will make sure you become a part of the high nobility for sure!” The skeleton patted me on the back with an expression that I hoped was a smile.

“Yes… my lord, however, I’m not sure about preventing a war. The princess was captured by the demons. I had to kill one of their lords to free her.” I spoke honestly.

“Hmph! Do they think they can just bully us like that? Well, we have the upper hand now. We’ve been planning an attack against them for some time now. Perhaps, we should use this opportunity to begin our invasion. I’m afraid that our men just aren’t fired up enough for war.”

I winced at those words. This battleground seemed to be at a standstill for a while. The humans and demons had been gathering their forces. However, when the Demon Prince took the princess, that had finally given the humans the courage needed to begin their assault. If the princess wasn’t taken, then we were back to this standstill. I didn’t know what to make of it.

“Yes, Commander, it was dreadful.” I suddenly found Carmine clinging to my arm. “We barely managed to make it out of there alive!”

Her voice was slightly different, and she was starting to exude the attitudes of the princess once again. She had been in a safe room all night, so the miasmic curse was kept at bay. It seemed like as soon as we left, her curse started to reinsert itself a bit. I nudged her, and Carmine blinked. She closed her eyes and put her hands together, muttering a spell. It was the purification spell. It’d keep her mind clear, but it looked like she wouldn’t be able to completely escape what the karmic curse was doing to her.

That was something I had already expected. What I needed to think about now was what to do to instigate the war. We still needed to attack the demon castle. It was the only way for us to escape this dungeon.

Just as I started considering our options, there was a loud horn that sounded from outside.

A man on the wall let out a shout. “An army! It’s the demons! They’re attacking!”

It looked like I didn’t need to consider anything at all. Bernard decided to act on his own and start the first attack.

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