“Lydia, threaten me! We need to sell her on this. If everything worked out, then she thinks I’m Deedee, an innocent tag along.” I explained over Slave Communication.
“I-I can’t! M-master…”
I sighed. “Shao…”
Shao flashed behind me and held a knife to my throat. “Let us go, or I’ll cut her apart!”
“Why do your words sound so convincing!” I cried out.
“It’s Master’s imagination!”
“You knife is cutting! It’s cutting!”
“Master has been very cold the last few days!”
“It was acting! We were acting!”
“Master can endure my love.”
“Why are you licking me!” That last one was out loud as Shao suddenly licked the side of my face.
“Maybe I’ll taste her before you can have her.” Shao smirked, looking every bit a depraved Bandit.
“Calypso, save me!” I cried tearfully, partially meaning it.
Calypso’s eyes narrowed. However, she didn’t seem alarmed. She remained sitting in her chair as the girl’s made of protective circle. Shao was holding me with a knife against my throat and her body pressed against me a bit too romantically. She was getting excited by this! Her crazy was showing!
Calypso only made a single gesture, and I was flung aside just as a blade landed where Shao had been. The attack had come from Salicia. I had thought that since we just came from the safe room, she’d be able to retain her mind for at least a little bit, but with Calypso in her direct line of sight, Salicia had become her puppet once again, just like that.
Shao had dived away into a roll. Naturally, she hadn’t planned to hurt me in the first place. Well, at least hurt me any more than she might normally hurt me. She recovered quickly and spun back with two daggers out and ready to fight. However, Salicia didn’t bother with her. Instead, she went straight to me and grabbed me. In a single motion, she picked me up, and then jumped up into the box where Calypso was staying.
In the end, Calypso had bothered to save me. That must mean she was still under the impression that I was just Deedee, her harem member. Furthermore, Salicia seemed to let me go as soon as we were safely in the box. Lydia had jumped after Salicia, but to her surprise, she slammed into some kind of forcefield that blocked the box. This was Calypso’s dungeon, so it seemed they had to follow her rules.
At that moment, Calypso made another gesture, and a few dozen Bandits jumped from the stands down into the ring. They rushed at the girls, forcing them to forget about me and start to fight for their lives. These appeared to be some of the stronger Bandits in Calypso’s army and weren’t nearly as simple to take care of, especially when they outnumbered the girls five to one.
Ultimately, everything had worked out just like I wanted. While Calypso was focused on the girls, I started to look around Calypso’s stand. I had barely started looking when Calypso spoke up.
“Are you looking for this?” Calypso lifted the orb in her hand.
It was the dungeon lore! I had been right. I didn’t think the dungeon lore would still be in the ceiling. When the dungeon was originally formed, the lore would remain hidden. Once the Dungeon Master died, the lore would reveal itself. If it wasn’t destroyed or finished, it’d return to its spot. However, to become the Dungeon Master, she took the dungeon lore and held on to it. That was how she was able to control the dungeon, rather than the dungeon controlling her.
However, since she had shown it to me, that meant that she knew I had been looking for it from the start!
“We need to talk, Deek.” She finally turned to me, a cruel smile on her lips.
“I-I don’t know what you mean.” I said, my heart quickly rising up to my throat.
“Your tricks never worked on me from the start.” She replied, snickering.
I knew it was foolish to deny it. She had already said my name. There was no sense continuing the ruse. As she looked at me, I let out a long sigh. Of course, as I watched her, I still had an eye on my girls. Even five to one. They were still doing well. They had defeated several Bandits, but whenever a Bandit was defeated, a new one jumped down.
“You brought us just where we wanted to be. You may be able to able to keep summoning Bandits, but you’ll have wasted more many than you gained.”
“It’s true…” She nodded, looking over the girls. “They are a lot more powerful than I expected. It was originally just my goal to kill them off and turn them into powerful dungeon Bandits, perhaps even Karmic Bandits that could lead as my lieutenants. However, you all exceeded my expectations. After swapping out my original 10th level boss for a Kraken, I knew that I had truly hit the jackpot.”
“What jackpot?” I sneered. “This doesn’t end in a way where you don’t lose.”
“Aren’t we getting a bit cocky?” She chuckled. “You’re in my room.”
“What about me?” I asked. “Shouldn’t you be killing me?”
“Hmm? Should I? Aren’t you the weakest of all of them? Even though you managed to cure the miasmic curse from my dagger, killing you is still very simple if that is what I wanted.”
“Then, what do you want?”
“Heh…” She grinned. “I want your body.”
“Wh-what?” My face flushed slightly.
“I’ve had some interest in you from before. Since you’ve brought Salicia to me, I’ve been watching you. There are many secrets about your body that impress me.”
I didn’t know what to say. She really had seen everything. I had thought I had been playing her, but it turned out that she had been playing me. She hadn’t just been playing me, but it had started since before I even knew she existed. From the moment I met Salicia, she had been somewhere in the background. I had hoped that she simply wasn’t aware of the details of what Salicia had seen and done, but it turned out I was being ignorant and naïve.
“Why are you doing all of this? What is your goal?”
“To destroy Lord Aberis.” She sighed.
“You want the King? He’s harder to handle…”
“Did I say King Aberis?” She spat. “That fat old fool and his maid slut! If they did things right, I wouldn’t have needed to intervene! The Demon Lord Aberis is still alive!”
I took several steps back, my mouth falling open in shock.
“Wh-what? That can’t be!’
“The Demon Lord has a special skill, the ability to reincarnate. The first time he had done it, his father, the Demon King, had struck him down when he tried to destroy his father at the end of the First Demon War.”
“First Demon War! How long ago was that?”
“I was just a young sorceress at the time, working with the Bandit Hero. To gain power, I had betrayed the human race in the hopes of endearing myself to the Demon Prince. In recompense, he used me as an incubator! The Demon King had damaged his soul heavily. It took many years for him to regain all of his strength, but when he did, he possessed me, and eventually was reborn as a child between me and the Bandit Hero. He even forced me to send my husband to the grave. He tried to ensure my death too, but I managed to escape.
“After that, he began the war on Aberis. By the time I had recovered, the war was already over, and he had been struck down. However, he had found a new mother!”
“Why does this sound familiar?” I scrunched my eyebrows.
“I believe the woman Aberis’ soul now resides in is Xin, the Osterian Princess Hero!”
So, that was why Xin had attacked the King all those years ago. The baby inside her must have taken control of her for a moment and made her attack him. That was also why she probably fled the country. There was just one thing off about her words.
“How long were you pregnant? Xin was already pregnant twenty years ago.”
“What did you say?” Her eyes widened, and then she clenched her teeth. “His soul must have not been damaged, either by having had practice or the fact that those that defeated him were too weak and inexperienced. He must have been able to reincarnate right away. Once he enters the baby, the birth cycle is normal, so that means he’s already been born and has existed for the last 20 years! At this point, he must be a young man.”
“This is a threat that encompasses everybody,” I said. “Why don’t we work together?”
This had been my original goal. I had intended to talk to the bandit leader and convince them to cooperate with me. Of course, as time progressed, I had thought that would be impossible, but now that I knew that Calypso’s true goals aligned with my own, I couldn’t see any reason we couldn’t work together.”
“Together?” Calypso looked over at me hesitantly.
“As you said, my girls are strong. I’ve been building an army, plus I have the trust of the future king. If we reveal what is happening, he’ll help. I had always wondered why Osteria had been so hostile to our country. Now that I know their hero is the mother of the Demon Lord, and her son likely is in some political position, then we can’t stand by and allow this new country to fall!
“I don’t just have an army, but I have a lot of powerful friends as well. You’re not the only one with a dungeon.” Her eyes flickered as I said this. “Together, we can destroy this threat. What about it?”
She continued to stare at me for a few moments, and then threw back her head and laughed. “Haha… you, want to work together?”
“Yes?” I frowned. “What’s so strange about that?”
She wiped a tear from her eyes, still giggling. “Just the irony of your statement. I had very much the same idea. From the beginning, I had planned to make use of Chalm and all of your resources. Once I had the knife, it was always my aim to seek you next. It’s just wonderful when everything just falls into your lap.”
“Okay…” The way she said those words had a slightly menacing tone that made me uncertain.
“I should say that I know how your soul was torn asunder and you were turned into a woman. Your soul power is now exceptionally weak, but your body is so strong and full of so many secrets.
“When you were a man, I fought with how I was going to manage to conquer your power and make it mine. Now, the answer is quite simple. This body has grown old and tired. Keeping it young and beautiful requires countless sacrifices. However, your fertile young body will be perfect for my future conquests! I will become you, and take everything that you have!”