Enhancing the Dungeon’s Defenses — Phase One
Editors: Sebas Tian, Speedphoenix, Joker
“Hmmmm…” I nodded as I contemplated my newly placed traps. “Yeah, I think that should be good enough, as far as traps go.”
One of the traps that I was particularly fond of had a classic method of activation; stepping on it would cause it to go off. Its unfortunate prey would be subject to a massive explosion alongside a storm of shrapnel. There was a second trap with a similar activation condition. Any intruders that entered its area of activation would be assaulted by a myriad of blades. The pointed weapons were coated with an extremely fast-acting poison and they would suddenly appear from every single conceivable direction at once.
The first trap wasn’t too hard to find. I highly doubted it would be missed so long as an intruder remained on guard. The second required a bit more attention and skill to spot, but it was still observable, especially when compared against another third type that I had chosen to deploy. This third trap was all but impossible to spot unless the intruder in question happened to have an extremely high-level detection skill. To make matters worse, or better in my case, the third trap was even deadlier than the other two. It would spray a lethal poison that would doom any in its vicinity should it be stepped on. I made sure to place these three traps right next to one another. The first two only existed in order to camouflage the third. It was a triple-whammy whose purpose was none other than ensuring death.
Of course, I placed more than just three types of traps. There were a great many varieties. One of the more interesting examples existed as vegetation-based traps that normally looked like decorative house plants. They would turn into massive walls of spikes the moment they were triggered. There was also a trap that simply could not be detected regardless of how skilled a prospective intruder may be. It released a faint pheromone into its surroundings and caused those who passed by it to lose their sense of direction. There were traps here, traps there, traps everywhere. The dungeon had effectively become a massive minefield. Literally, in some places.
Trap placement followed a rather strict pattern. Traps placed near the dungeon’s outer bounds were placed with quantity in mind. There were a bunch of them all over the place, but they weren’t as carefully concealed. On the other hand, traps placed near the dungeon’s core were much more sporadic in nature and featured things like the triple-whammy. There were fewer of them, but they were much more difficult to spot. The point of such a layout was to catch my enemies off guard.
Though I had put a substantial amount of effort into placing traps to ensure the dungeon’s safety, the truth of the matter was that I had disabled all of them the moment I put them down. There were several reasons behind the decision. The first was that they were powerful. My traps could basically kill whatever poor monsters happened to stumble across them, including ones that I didn’t need or want to kill. Moreover, repairing them was expensive. They cost an exorbitant amount of DP, and using them on random weaklings was an incredible waste of money. My map would inform me whenever any intruders entered my territory. It also told me how powerful they were, so there was no harm in leaving my traps off until I needed them.
Disabling my traps also had the added benefit of making them child, pet, and maid friendly.
“All I need now are my new pets,” I said. “But it doesn’t look like I’ve got enough DP.”
I wasn’t out of DP. I still had enough to summon two of the four monsters that I had chosen, but I didn’t feel like it. I wanted to summon the whole batch at once. Summoning half of them now and the others as my points trickled in didn’t seem as entertaining. I mean, there isn’t really much of a reason not to, so might as well wait, right?
The treasure that I had looted from the bandits had provided quite the unexpected boon. It gave me a lot more DP than I had expected, but I still didn’t have enough. I had accidentally let myself get carried away buying traps, and spent more than planned. Oops. I’ve got a pretty bad habit of ignoring my budget whenever I’m having fun, huh? I should probably fix that. You know what else I should probably do? I should take these shiny new traps for a test drive.
Rir immediately responded to my call with a bark. The wolf wasn’t anywhere nearby, but the dungeon’s farspeak feature allowed me to speak to him and any of the other monsters under my control nonetheless. I used farspeak quite often. It was how I normally paged him and called him to my side.
“I need you to do me a favour and help me out with something real quick.”
And so, after discussing a few particulars, the two of us went out to hunt.
“It should be right over there!” I directed my canine mount to one of the traps I had set up as he darted through the forest. The wolf reacted to my voice by speeding up and leaping over our destination with a burst of monstrous speed before turning around.
Once he stopped, the two of us found ourselves face to face with an obscenely large turtle. The gigantic monster roared like a monster out of a Godzilla-esque movie as it closed in on us. Countless trees fell before it, crushed to dust by its massive limbs. It belonged to a species known as the Grand Tortoise. And although it lacked power, it more than made up for it with its defensive prowess—as one would expect from anything even remotely turtle-based. Not even Zaien’s edge could tear through its shell.
Even my blade, sharp as it was, could only cleave through the creature’s neck and legs, and only when they were exposed and extended from its tough carapace. The most annoying part about fighting a Grand Turtle was that it would immediately retract all of its extended body parts into its shell if it felt threatened and remain still until all threats had removed themselves. Anyone that wanted to defeat one had to do so in a single strike. Oh wait, it was supposed to be a Grand Tortoise, not a Grand Turtle. Oh well, turtle, tortoise, whatever. It’s a turtle to me.
Although it sounded threatening, the beast was one that I could crush with ease. I had been able to hunt them without any difficulty at all ever since growing a second pair of wings. My ability to position and maneuver myself in midair provided me with more than enough control to swoop down on a grand tortoise and tear its neck from the rest of its body with ease. Likewise, Rir was fast enough to tear its head off before it could so much as react.
The fact that the grand tortoise was a highly defensive monster we could dispatch with ease made it the perfect lab rat, so we baited one out of its home and led it to the trap that would spell its demise. Alright, I know what you’re thinking. How the hell did you bait a big ass turtle that just hides and shit when it feels like it’s in danger? It was pretty simple really. We noticed it leaving its nest, so we ran inside, nabbed one of its big ass eggs, and dipped. All while it was staring right at us. The big bastard got a bit pissy and started chasing right after us. Hmm… I wonder if this egg is edible. I guess I’ll hand it off to Leila once I get home.
Sir Missing-An-Egg stepped on top of the trap shortly after Rir and I turned to face it. There was a small explosion as hundreds of blades sprang from the ground and impaled the creature’s legs. It didn’t seem to mind at first, so it immediately took another step.
Only to lose its footing and collapse. The foot it had pushed forward gave out and failed to respond to its commands. The oversized turtle was unable to comprehend the situation at hand. Its other legs gave out soon after the first, leading it to collapse where it stood. Although analyze informed me that it did still have some HP, it wasn’t moving. The poison had put it in a coma.
“Well then. That worked pretty damn well.” I blinked a few times as I regarded the turtle from behind a giant shield of water, one I had made in advance to fend off the poisoned blades that had come flying in our direction. Welp. That’s the most expensive trap for you. Like god damn, this thing’s big as all hell, but that poison spread hella fast anyway. This thing will definitely work well on anything human-sized. Iunno how healing magic and stuff will factor into it, but I’d say there’s at least a pretty good chance they’ll pass out before they can use any potions.
I jumped off of Rir and beheaded the massive turtle in order to turn it into DP before turning back around to face the wolf again. “Make sure you be careful with these things, alright? They’ll be inactive most of the time, and I’m pretty sure you can kinda just tell where everything is ‘cause you’re one of this dungeon’s monsters and all that, but you should still watch your step. If they’re active, then they’ll still pop if you touch them even if you’re not an intruder.”
The wolf nodded as if to declare its affirmation.
“Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you. I’m planning to summon a couple more monsters soon. They’ll be fresh hires and all that, so you mind helping me look after them?”
Rir tilted his head as he whined in a questioning tone.
“Pretty much, yeah,” I replied. “I want you to make sure they meet our standards. They’ve gotta be the strongest of the strong, monsters that no other monsters can ever beat, you know?”
This time, Rir’s response came in the form of a bark and a nod.
“Thanks Rir. I’ll be counting on you.” I smiled in satisfaction and gave the ever-reliable pup a pat on the back. “Alright! Now let’s go hunt ourselves a few more monsters. You’ve gotten a hell of a lot stronger, and I need to do the same.”
My canine companion once again tilted his head in confusion.
“Oh right, right. I forgot to mention, but I fought this crazy strong guy in the capital. It was a pretty tough fight, so I was thinking I should probably get a bit stronger.”
With that explained, the two of us once again set out to hunt.