Two days had passed since I had last spoken with Calypso. In that intervening time, I had a chance to look at the camp a bit more. I wasn’t able to go far. Our guard, Salicia, didn’t allow us, and I wasn’t ready to make a break for it until my mana had returned. She still didn’t act like she knew me at all. That was probably for the best. If she had retained memories and her old personality, she could have told Calypso everything about me. Thankfully, Calypso never even thought of asking her such a question, and I liked to think that Salicia was somewhere in there and deliberately keeping this from her. At least, it made me feel closer to the woman that I had lost.
I had tried to talk to some of the Bandits a few times, but they seemed disinterested in talking to me. I was Calypso’s woman, and that was as far as it went. This honestly surprised me a bit. Bandits were Bandits, after all. They were cheaters, liars, and murderers. How could they possibly respect Calypso’s orders? At first, I had thought that Salicia was our guard because she didn’t trust the Bandits, but now I was thinking there was more to it.
Meanwhile, I continued to dwell on the idea that had been sparked in my head. I was certain we were in a dungeon. That was why I wasn’t able to get a clear location on my girls, let alone send them a message. Unless they were in this dungeon with me, I couldn’t contact them. Even though I had a blessing that allowed me to make Portals out of a dungeon, it didn’t work for other skills. As for making a Portal, that was impossible with my mana blocked. I still couldn’t use mana. I tried every day and was seemingly unable to cast a single spell.
“From what I remember the Grand Master telling me regarding the knife, it corrupts mana and damages the soul. Your mana was turned into miasma forcefully. As long as it is corrupt, you will be unable to use any spells. It will need to be cleansed first.” Siti explained. “Did you need me to reinforce your cosmetic spells?”
My tattoos were something that Siti had helped me hide using illusion magic. Void and space magic had a close relationship with illusions. When it came to a spell that just hid marks on my skin, I guess it was a common enough spell for some women to get that Calypso wouldn’t care or notice.
“How do you cleanse mana?” I asked.
“Only a Priest can do it.”
So, it was like that. I thought I could do it with White Mage’s Purification, but that involved me being able to use mana, which was something I couldn’t do! That’s when a thought occurred to me.
“Would I be able to use miasma spells?”
“Huh? I mean, you would have to have some demonic or dark ability that gave you skills that used miasma, but you would have access to them.” “As she said,” The curtain opened and Calypso walked in, causing us both to freeze in surprise. “Come with me, Deedee, it’s time that I showed you some things.”
When Calypso walked in on us and overheard the last part of our conversation, I carefully tried to remember everything we had spoken out loud to make sure she didn’t hear anything we didn’t want her to hear. Thankfully, she didn’t seem upset or angry. She had the same half-smirk on her face that she usually did, seemingly enjoying the pair of us chatting. Some of the other girls said she liked us to interact and grow friendly with each other, as she would bed several of us at once when she was in the mood.
Although she said this, Calypso had only taken one girl to her bed a night. Supposedly, the girls were on a rotation, much like I had done with my girls. I didn’t feel comfortable knowing that we had such a thing in common. I wasn’t on the list yet, but Siti was. In three days, Siti would be Calypso’s night attendant, which typically meant that she would expect some service.
At first, I had worried about Siti, but Siti only laughed it off. “Did you think the Grand Master only kept me around because I was a Blue Mage? Naturally, I warmed his bed many nights. In reality, being his apprentice and being in Siti’s harem, there isn’t much of a difference to me. Here, I can at least share in it, and Calypso’s a bit prettier than that old man, isn’t she?”
Siti had been afraid at first, but after a few days when she finally understood her responsibilities as well as why Calypso found her compelling, she had relaxed considerably. It turned out she wasn’t an innocent virgin and was familiar with using her body to get what she wanted. I had learned that she used to work for the Traveler’s Guild like most Blue Mages, but that her superior had demanded unreasonable favors from her for her to keep her position and advance. That was why she eventually left with the Grand Mage.
Thus, Siti only waved goodbye as I followed Calypso outside the tent, and it was no longer clear if she even truly wanted to escape. When I had asked her directly, she said that it depended on how good the sex was. Since Calypso was a much older woman than probably even the Grand Master, she likely had a lot of experience to fall back on. Well, it wasn’t like I planned to be her bed partner any time soon. I’d escape as soon as I could.
As I was thinking this, we had walked to the edge of the camp. The forest surrounding it was thick and didn’t give you a view through. I had never seen a dungeon with an open sky and a night and day cycle before, but the more I was in this place, the more I grew convinced it was a dungeon.
“What do you think of this camp?” She asked harmlessly.
“Isn’t this a dungeon?” I asked, once again not able to still my tongue.
Her eyebrows rose, and then she smirked. “I knew you were the right one. I felt it as soon as you entered. Your presence causes my heart to beat rapidly. You have the potential!
“Potential for what?” I asked helplessly.
“You can become… a Dungeon Master, like me!”
“Y-you’re a Dungeon Master.” I froze, staring at her in shock.
“You seem to know what that is. I’m very interested in your upbringing. A Dark Priest Cook with the potential of a Dungeon Master.”
I didn’t have the Dungeon Master job. I had the Dungeon Builder job, which was probably considered a second-tier job, if I had to give it a rating.”
“I… was trapped in a dungeon. I did what I had to.” I said in a shaky voice.
I wasn’t able to lie much, but what I said wasn’t a lie. I found it much easier to tell the truth, although even then, when I was intentionally deceptive, I still struggled a bit. Thankfully, she didn’t notice or didn’t care and only responded with a light nod.
“You won’t have to struggle anymore. I will teach you everything I know.”
“This… dungeon… you created it?” I asked nervously.
She shook her head. “No, I conquered it. Within this place, I am supreme. I’m aware of everything, everywhere. I can travel anywhere in an instant. Welcome to… Bandit’s Respite!”
She announced it like it was the name of the dungeon. When I had been carried in, I was unconscious, so I naturally couldn’t see the typical words offering me to destroy the dungeon. That was one of the reasons I hadn’t been certain. The other was that this first floor contained almost no miasma on it. It was no wonder none of the Bandits would betray her. If she had a full awareness, they wouldn’t be able to get away with anything.
However, if I was a Bandit like that, I’d probably run away. A leader that oppressive and all-knowing would be dangerous, especially since she kept sending them out to die. They could seemingly pop up anywhere, and would resurrect almost instantly. As those thoughts came to my mind, I gasped, covering my mouth. I was beginning to realize the implications of what she was saying. Her smile grew wider, but looked darker and more sadistic.
“Say it, what are you thinking, my little crumpet.”
I lowered my hand, trying to remain collected. “Those Bandits… I thought you just had a quick way of resurrecting them, but that’s not it. They’re dungeon monsters. They might have been Bandits once, but you captured their souls in this dungeon, and turned them into a miasmic army!”
“Keep going…” She smiled, seeming to enjoy the look on my face as I figured things out.
“Going… the… the dungeon… where is it?” I asked suspiciously.
“Where indeed.” She chuckled. “I can tell you, that it spreads across the west of Aberis.”
“That’s why… the dungeon has multiple exits all over the west. You’re able to send and release Bandits all over the countryside… that’s how you’ve been able to be so persistent! You’re everywhere all the time!”
“That’s right!” She chuckled. “I wanted you to understand the power I hold. With a snap of my fingers, I can send Bandits and beasts anywhere I want.”
“There is just one flaw.” I responded, causing her smile to flicker. “You’re trapped here. Your Bandits can’t leave the area around the dungeon!”
“That might have been the case once.” She responded tightly, “But… now that I have a Blue Mage, she can create Portals to send us all over. That’s why I said what I said. I may be a Dungeon Master today, but in time, I will do just like the demons did. My dungeon will grow and create a new land, the Bandit Land. I will spread my will all over the five countries, and I will become their god!”