Chapter 3: Of mazes, insects, and invaders

ok so i’m a little sick…….. i am taking the rest of the day to nap and take some meds……..

 

next chapter will have multiple POVs and might be split in two depending on its length….. i’ll write it when i feel better….

 

here’s your chapter: ENJOY!!!




For months I had been expanding my territory, making a few new rooms, and experimenting with all sorts of traps. I had even begun to work on a new project of mine, a labyrinth maze that I wanted to span at least a few miles. It currently only had a few twists, turns, and dead ends, but when it was finished I’m sure it would be the perfectly beautiful and deadly maze I wanted.

 

Instinct and I have also been working on my dungeon’s lighting issue during this time, and together we decided that since my dungeon would continue to grow forever we could do ALL the ideas, but at first we should start with the option that cost the least amount of power. So now my first floor is lit by a mix of the pinprick during the day and some carefully placed lesser light crystals at night. The effect isn’t quite what I wanted, but for now it will serve until I have more power to work on the issue with.

 

I had also made the discovery, with Instinct’s guidance, that I could in fact speak. It was really just a disembodied voice that transmitted itself into the minds of those within a certain range of wherever my mind was inside my dungeon, but with this ability I could eventually communicate with others besides just Instinct. The sheer amount of opportunities that this ability brought made it priceless in my mind, and with it I was sure that I would learn many new things in the future.

 

There was also something amazing that happened, my dungeon had its first visitor. It was an insect of some sort that expanded and crawled through the pinprick one day. I repaired the opining back to its small size again after it was inside though, I didn’t want too many things from the outside coming in. I think that the insect was some sort of ant or termite, but I didn’t really know and neither did Instinct. I liked watching it, and I even tried to take care of it for a while despite Instincts insistence that it might be a dangerous threat. Unfortunately the insect I thought of as my first pet and was even considering names for died after only two days, its death made me slightly sad, but not nearly as much as I thought it would. It might have helped that its death gave me 2 animus and allowed me to take its corpse into my storage database, I could now create or alter more of that species at any time and without spending power to understand and unlock the species in my menu. I was very happy about that, and my joy outweighed any sadness I felt over my almost pet’s death.

 

When I discovered that simple way to gain animus faster, I opened a thousand more ant/termite sized holes to the surface all around my dungeon. I was careful though and had either myself or Instinct when I was busy with growing the dungeon, monitor them closely. I didn’t want anything dangerous to get in, but I didn’t think insects would be much of a threat to me. With the addition of those new openings I was able to absorb more mana and animus into my core, and also got a few new insects to enter my dungeon.

 

It was during that time I found something out that I had never considered before, that I really liked having things live in my dungeon. It brought me a strange sort of joy to know that they were there, but it was even more fun to just watch them. Even Instinct, after she assured herself that they weren’t a danger, liked to watch them. I asked her about why I enjoyed the insects so much and she told me “Waynor, you’re a dungeon, even if you are a unique one. You will discover that there will be many things that just naturally make you feel certain ways. One such thing is creating and growing your dungeon which will always be an urge that makes you happy, another is the presence of life inside your dungeon that will make you feel many different things… You’ll experience and feel more with time, so just enjoy and follow your feelings as they come and don’t question them too much, ok Waynor?”.

 

I decided to follow her advice and just went with my feelings. I would work on my dungeon, expanding it and placing new traps and deterrents every day thanks to the newly increased daily mana gains, then I would watch the many insects that now lived in my dungeon. I watched them as they made nests and moved around, some even hunted each other which for some reason brought me much more happiness than anything else they did. This soon became a routine, and at times even Instinct would join me in this new routine of mine. Having the insects inside my dungeon truly was a good thing, they let me gain more animus and gave me even more when they died. All the new types of insect that died added to my slowly growing database, and even when they lived it was just fun to watch them. The only real downside was that they were not very beautiful in any way, and many were not very elegant at all.

 

One day I had the urge to try something new, I had gained a few hundred more points of animus and I wanted to try using them to create an insect of my own design. I accessed my internal database and used animus to make something new that combined and changed things about all the insects that I had stored there. I made the base a lot like the ant like insects, but gave it poisonous and detachable stingers, eight elegant legs instead of its normal six, improved its compound eyes into a two single enhanced eyes that functioned in a similar but better way as the less beautiful compound eyes, made it solid black with only a few streaks of green on its carapace, and lastly I increased its size to about two feet long and a foot high. I named this new creation a Mite, and created one male and one female.

 

When I had created my own Mites, I noticed that many things changed. My dungeon rank changed to 0, my menu updated itself, the mite species was added to my database, and most importantly my feelings changed. I thought of the other insects from the surface no longer as welcome guests, but as invaders whose only value was in the amusement and power they could bring me by being here. Instinct told me that this was normal for dungeons, and that I had only felt differently before because I was incomplete due to not having all the parts of a mature dungeon. Now I did: traps, rooms, a floor, an opening, a core, organic life, and power. I had reached maturity as a dungeon, and with that change came a change in how I perceived those things that would enter my dungeon. I wasn’t concerned by this change, it felt natural and Instinct assured me it was normal so it didn’t bother me.

 

I went to work creating a small room and hive nest for my new insects, and also began to create more of them. Instinct said that over time whatever life I created would eventually breed and make more of themselves naturally if they were able to. She explained that it usually took a male and a female to do this, but there were some times when that was not the case.

 

When I learned that I used even more animus and went into greater depth with my mites. I gave them a lifespan of about a year, had them mate, gestate, and lay at least five eggs in as little as one day, and go through breeding cycles every week. I had spent well over two hundred animus to create the mites, and adding these new points to the Mites brought me down to 104 animus. It was worth it though.

 

For a few weeks my mites simply hunted and breed, but soon something strange happened. There was a new type of Mite, one that was always female and just breed constantly, it could also lay hundreds of eggs in a day. Instinct called it a variant, I incorporated one into my data base and redubbed it “Mite hive mother”. I made some minor changes to it and the mites at large once again, making them more aggressive to outside invaders and giving them a strong instinct to build up, expand, and repair my dungeon. I also made it so that each hive would only ever have one mature mite hive mother at any one time, and made these hive mothers into a sort of leader for their hive while also holding aggression towards other hives. I even made my mites cannibalistic, though they would happily eat any other source of meat as well. I did these things to keep their population controlled and also gain the animus that came from mite deaths for my dungeon. that way the mites would both help me expand and grow my dungeon, while also serving as defenders and their own predators. I was very happy with them, and so was Instinct. She told me that my idea to have the mites also serve as to physically extend and build up my dungeon was unique and ingenious, and that other normal dungeons probably wouldn’t have ever even thought to do so.

 

It took only a few days for the mites to rid my dungeon of all the other insects, and with their growing numbers and tendency towards killing those mites from different hives I was gaining even more animus than I was mana now.

 

I was thoroughly enjoying my mites, and I would constantly change and improve them whenever I had enough animus. Even expanding the dungeon became secondary for a time as I worked on the mites. I started with their intelligence, and over time and with the expense of much animus they became so intelligent they began to use strategy and developed three different forms of communication: a clicking squeak language, a pheromone language only they picked up on, and a mental language they used with me and Instinct. Next I gave them a sort of metallic webbing that they could use for traps or building, the webbing could be flexible and soft, or strong and hard as well as all sorts of levels of stickiness all depending on the mite and it’s needs. I also gave them a rather strong acid that could help them build and create passageways in my dungeon, while also serving as a sort of weapon. Lastly I gave them the ability to regrow their stingers within a mere few minutes as well as strengthened and sharpened their mandibles and claws to the point that they could easily slice rock.

 

The mites were always really friendly with me and Instinct, constantly telling us that they would dedicate themselves to us and the dungeon itself, and that none would ever harm us if they could ever possibly prevent it. That the mites were so loyal and nice to me brought me so much joy, my core almost couldn’t handle it. I always thought it was strange that I liked the mites so much, yet didn’t really seem to really care whenever they died, but the mites told me that was fine and Instinct told me that was natural. After a few weeks I just began to accept this contradiction in my feelings.

 

Time passed and with the help of the mites I only needed to focus on expanding my dungeon territory in order to grow, which due to this had grown rather large. I had countless mite-made tunnels and rooms that I only needed to improve and beautify to my tastes before they were complete, and they had made my maze into something truly wondrous that spanned at least 3 miles and ascended and descended levels in multiple places. There was only one entrance, but there were thousands if not millions of dead ends and branch offs. I once asked a team of mites who helped with constructing it to try navigating it without guiding pheromones. After an hour they couldn’t even find the way back to the entrance or the exit, and after three days they starved to death. I still need to make my maze more beautiful, but I think it is certainly deadly enough as it is now even without traps. I was still going to add traps to it though…

 

My dungeon now had 47 rooms as well as 12 hidden hive rooms for the mites to live in and also many tunnels and hallways, and now I was even considering adding a new floor. Instinct said that I should have done that once I had 10 rooms, but I wanted to wait until I made more. I was thinking that now might be the time though. That is until something strange happened………..

 

 

I was working on decorating the walls of my maze with the team of mites that were one of my many teams of personal helpers. Ever since their hive mother moved to my core room and said that they would serve me directly as aids and guards, I have always had a team of about 100 mites follow my mind throughout my dungeon to help me. Of course I had to learn how to alert them to where my mind was at all times, but with some animus and mana I learned that I could color what Instinct calls my astral projection. She also told me that coloring it so that it was visible defeated its purpose, but I think it is fine. Plus I can always go back to not being a blue and silver orb of haze, so there’s no worries.

 

Hmmm………… I want there to be a nice flowing tribal design, but maybe going for plain reflection like a maze of mirrors would be better? Maybe I can do both? Yes! I can just put the line designs at the top and bottom of the walls! Then it could be like the walls of my maze have a framing effect!!!

 

I pulled closer to my team of mites and projected my “voice”.

 

“Ok, I figured out what we are going to do. We are going with tribal line design 5, and I want there to be two on each wall. One a foot from the ceiling and one a foot off the ground. We are going with my signature accent color scheme of green, blue, and purple done in liquid gemstone, and the main wall will be reflective silver. It should look something like this.” (Waynor)

 

I made a portion of maze wall behind me match what I wanted. It took a few minutes because I wanted the base the mites used for reference on the rest of the maze to be utterly flawless and perfect.

 

“Now are there any questions?” (Waynor)

 

I looked around at the mites, one moved forward and sent to me.

 

How fast do you wish this done master? (Mite team leader)

 

………. Hmmmmm well, there is a lot of maze to cover…………

 

“As fast as it needs to be to be done perfectly and beautifully. There is no need to rush, just take as much time as you need. I will be laying traps as you work so I might not be able to help you all with something immediately, and remember to be careful when handling the liquid gemstone. I don’t want any accidental and wasteful deaths on this project, ok?” (Waynor)

 

Yes master/lord/great dungeon/Waynor!!! (all the mites)

 

“Good, now let’s get to work!” (Waynor)

 

 

As I was setting one of my spiked pitfall mixed collapsing ceiling traps, I felt something strange. It was like when the mites dug an opening when they were expanding, but this time the opening didn’t close up and instead there was a shaking sensation. Then I felt invaders enter my dungeon, but not something small like an insect. These invaders seemed bigger than my mites.

I immediately looked around, all the mites had stopped working and were looking in the direction where I felt the intruders. They were also talking in that clicking language of theirs really fast.

 

I felt Instinct reach out to me.

 

Waynor, we have intruders! Human intruders! You have to come back, we need to make sure your core is protected! (Instinct)

 

I felt the immense fear and concern that Instinct had. It was starting to make me sick again, and actually began causing my core pain. I could understand why she might be scared, I kinda was to. I wasn’t ready for invaders yet, I wanted another 100 years at least to prepare! Even still, I was more curious than I was scared. I wanted to see a human, to try talking to one even. After I did that then I could get them to leave, or if that didn’t work I could go back and work with Instinct on ways to protect my core while they tangled with my dungeon.

 

Instinct, Seal off all tunnels accessible to the area the invaders are in that bypass the maze. I want to try something……

 

DON’T!!! I can’t make any changes to an area that has invaders in it anyway! Only you can do something like that Waynor, and that’s too risky! (Instinct)

 

The concern I felt from Instinct was really starting to make me unwell, it felt like my core was bursting. Maybe I should look into growing it soon.

 

Ok then, I’ll ask the mites to do it then. I’m going to go investigate the humans, Instinct you manage the mites in case the humans turn out to be hostile.

 

I severed the connection to Instinct before she could respond. She would’ve probably tried to stop me, but I needed to do this. Humans were something new, and I really wanted to know more about them besides they walk on two legs, are tallish, and can do pretty much everything the other races can, and sometimes better. This was my chance to find out more.

 

“Seal off all tunnels accessible to the area the invaders are in that bypass the maze. I want them to have to go through the maze if they are to get to any path that leads to my core room.” (Waynor)

 

Yes master/lord/great dungeon/Waynor!!! (all the mites)

 

After I heard that I began to move towards where the invaders were….

 

 

That is a big opening……….

 

I was looking at the farthest room from my core, the one that now had a huge opening that seemed to have been blasted into it. There were lots of humans here too, some were in shiny metal or hides and holding big sticks or other shiny metal stick things, those were the ones crowding around the opining and there looked to be a lot of them. Then there were the other two, one who was really pretty and seemed female, and another who was bleeding all over my nicely polished floor and seemed to be a sleeping male.

 

The female had water coming from her eyes and kept shaking the male and saying things like “wake up” or “please”. She should really just let him sleep, he needs sleep to heal and he has lost blood so he needs to heal. Instinct always said that humans were one of the more fragile races and they couldn’t lose too much blood if they were to survive.

 

I was currently in the middle of the room watching the humans without coloring myself. They hadn’t noticed me there and I was fine with that, even if I supposedly couldn’t be harmed like this.

 

“Ey, this is a Dungeon is’n it? Old Richy’s explosion magic turned up a dungeon! And the dice says it’s level one or lower too! This job just keeps pay’n out more and more…….” (Random metal human)

 

“Hey, shut it Barry! We still need to take care of these noble brats, AFTER we do that we can raid this low level dungeon for some extra cash. Get it? AFTER Barry…” (Leader type metal human)

 

The female looked up at that while the other humans talked to each other.

 

“D-dungeon? M-maybe I-I could…….” (Female human)

 

The female was saying something really quietly, it was hard to hear over the other humans so I moved closer to her. Suddenly she shouted out loudly.

 

“I ask for the protection of this dungeon for myself and my brother, and in return I offer up myself as compensation! This I do swear on my very soul! Please help us!!!” (Female human)

 

I was surprised by her shouting, but even more surprised by the thing that popped up on my menu.

 

[ Human: Hanna Tultsven has offered you a contract. Do you accept? ]

 

“Quick someone stop the little bitch, she’s trying to make a deal with the dungeon!” (Random metal human 2)

 

“You actually think the dungeon will care? Or even do anything besides try to kill her if it did? Relax man, we got the girl cornered…” (Random metal human 3)

 

I looked at the female. She was beautiful, if rather dirty, and she was a human so she could probably tell me much more about humans. I made myself colored and visible again.

 

“I accept.” (Waynor)

 

I tried something I never had before, and tried porting the female and the male she was holding. It worked and they fell through the hazy circle of mana I placed below them, I felt them land safely in one of the rooms near my core room. The only downside was it cost so much mana I only had 14 now.

 

Haaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh………….. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to wait for more before I can seal up this opening….. I guess I’ll ask these others to leave now.

 

“Please leave, I don’t want any other outsiders here right now.” (Waynor)

 

I left the humans to return back to my core, and those other humans I decided to keep. These humans could either leave, or they could help me better my dungeon by being a sort of test for it. Either way I benefited.

 

I wonder what they will chose………….




[ Name: Waynor               Titles: “Icon of Patience”, “Self-Named Dungeon”, “The One Who Endures”        Rank: 0                 Dominion Level: 0            Territory: N/A ]

 

[ Power: { Mana: 14 } { Animus: 1,298,767 }     Class: ???             State: flawless core]

 

[ Floors: 1            Rooms: 47 (sub rooms: 183)        Inhabitants (slaves/livestock/pets/etc… included): {???: 1} {Mites: 1,000,000+ (hive mothers: 12)    Traps (magical/physical/other…): {spike: 596} {pitfall: 421} {arrow: 327} {wall: 382} {ceiling: 106} {fire: 239} {poison: 135} {acid: 23} {maze: 1} ]

 

[ Creation Options: {Mana: expansion, building, decoration, design, trap creation, core growth} {Animus: dungeon lord creation, inhabitant creation, soul stone creation/granting, name bestowal,  mutation/evolution/etc…, core growth} ]

 

[ Destruction Options: {Mana: magic, deconstruction, siphoning, absorption, portation (in-dungeon), Teleportation, item/magic recycling (automatic)} {Animus: siphoning, absorption, remodification/recreation, life recycling (automatic)} ]

 

[ Stored/Owned Creations (organic): {Dungeon lord: 1} Stored/Owned Creations (inorganic)      Possible/Purchasable Creations: {∞} ]

 

 

same as the last ending foot note……. to sick to add more……….

 

*edit* fixed it up and added things i missed due to sickness…. it should read a lot better now and make much more sense.

 

Author out…..

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