Varn still held some grudges against Ferluci for changing his greenhouse into a crystal ice palace but it all disappeared when he entered the castle. The inner wall was dazzling and sparkling in rainbow colours. He tilted his head upwards and the ceiling was so high. How can the size be so enormous? Just looking at the front hall, he knew just how big this castle really was.
“Do you like it? It was way better than that unsophisticated design of yours. You have to remember to make the entrance as grand as possible so you could attract more prey. What’s more, it could also serve as your living chambers. You could arrange the rooms freely since you’re arranging your own dungeon. I’ll teach on how to arrange your dungeon later on. You could even summon daily needs here using your dungeon control.”
“But, won’t that make it easier for raiders to clear my dungeon. Isn’t it usually a maze or a confusing labyrinth or maybe a cave with deadly traps? If it’s just a simple castle, how can I defend myself?”
“Huk huk huk.. Don’t worry.. This is only the entrance.. This is not your dungeon, stupid.”
Varn could feel his heart pierced by his own stupidity. This grand castle is just the entrance. The real dungeon is not this.
“Let me take you to your dungeon then.”
They walked past the ball, the grand dining room and arrived at a shabby looking iron door. In front of it, statues of knights holding their sword were lined up. There are ten of those statues along the corridor to that iron door, as if giving salute to anyone that walked towards the door.
“Your dungeon is behind that door. It is common for a dungeon’s entrance to be big and complicated but still, the real door to the dungeon isn’t that.”
The whole castle is big and well decorated but it’s all only an entrance. Afterall the real deal is the dungeon, not the entrance.
“Come, let’s go in.”
Varn walked behind Ferluci and arrived at the iron door. Ferluci moved his hands and pushed the door open, however Varn couldn’t see anything. Only darkness appeared behind the door. Ferluci then walked forward and his whole body disappeared.
“This is my dungeon!”
Varn clenched his fist and walked inside.
He didn’t know how long the darkness covered his eyes but it seemed like only a moment. He then saw light so bright it’s blinding his eyes.
“Huk huk huk.. You can open your eyes boy. This is your dungeon.”
Varn saw a big empty field laid out in front of him. The size of this field was even larger than the whole of Bruit village. On the ceiling were rocks that indicated that this is still underground. His mouth was still open from shock.
“Huk huk huk.. Don’t be surprised boy. Whenever you create a dungeon, you’ll be given three dungeon floors and each one is this big. We needed to make sure that you have enough space to install traps specifically for beginners like you, see.”
“Now, I will not teach you about installing traps or other things. I will teach you about dungeon points first. You’ll have to keep a close eye on them. You won’t want to use too much of it in one dungeon but you still have to make sure your dungeon isn’t clearable. It is possible for one F rank dungeon to have hundreds of floors but what’s the point if you can only use F rank traps? Accumulating points to rank up is as important as unlocking new traps and many other things.”
Varn just nodded while listening to Ferluci remark.
“Now, how to gain dungeon points? You can kill others in your dungeon territory using traps, monsters, or even kill it yourself. You can also clear another’s dungeon to absorb their spent points and to do that, you have to be an excellent dungeon raider as well. You may need to learn how to use sword and magic to get your revenge. Just a small reminder.”
He smiled on purpose when he said the last sentence.
Varn understood it too. If he wanted to avenge his parents, he would need power as well. At least, he needed to be able to kill a were-wolf easily. Either by controlling higher rank monsters or becoming as strong as a monster.
“What’s more you have decided to take the thorny path, by not killing humans which are, as far as I know, the best for dungeon point farming.”
Varn eyes showed some disdain when Ferluci said that but what can he do? He was right all along.
“Now, the question is.. how will you gain dungeon points then?”
Varn completely had no idea about this. He didn’t want to kill humans and he was not strong enough to raid another dungeon. He also needed to defend his own dungeon.
Seeing Varn having hardship was like entertainment for Ferluci.
“Huk huk huk. Boy, now open your dungeon control and see the monster page.”
Varn followed his words and looked at that page.
“You see, there are two types of monsters. One is the type you can control and the second is the free-willed monsters.”
Varn looked again at the page which he didn’t pay close attention to before. He look at one of the cheapest.
“Wolves: 100 Dungeon points (controlled) 50 Dp (free-willed). Goblins: 200 Dungeon points (controlled) 100 Dp (free-willed).”
“What does it mean? I didn’t see the controlled and free-willed options before.”
Varn asked Ferluci and what did it have to do with gathering Dp?
“It means that monsters controlled by you will follow your instructions. Monster that are free-willed can’t be controlled but their cost will be much lower. Of course you are seeing it now because I allowed you to. Huk huk huk.”
“Yes, I noticed that it was half the price of the controlled version.”
“That’s because the free-willed ones may attack you. Huk huk huk.”
Varn didn’t know wether it was a good or bad idea to listen on Ferluci. It was also crazy that he can only see the option now that Ferluci allowed him to.
“Now, look at the page titled monster value.”
He didn’t even notice that the dungeon control book had that page. He searched for a while and arrived at the designated page.
“…..Rabbit: 1 Dp. Wolf: 2 Dp. Goblin 3 Dp….” and so on. Judging from the title, it was a list of the points that he will gain if he killed them. However, it was too little. The amount for killing 16 goblins was only equivalent to killing 1 ordinary human. What’s more the goblins in this world were five times stronger than humans.
“Now, can you guess what I’m telling you to do?”
Varn shook his head. He really had no idea. It made Ferluci put one hand on his head and shook it vigorously.
“I can’t believe it. You’re so dumb.”
Varn really didn’t know what Ferluci was hinting at by telling him all of this.
“Varn, you like farming right?”
He was confused at the out-of-nowhere question but Varn replied anyway.
“I can judge it easily by looking at that useless dungeon entrance from before.”
Varn was a patient boy and didn’t mind when Ferluci called him stupid. But to insult his dream was like insulting his parents. Afterall, his parents were so happy when he said that he wanted to be a farmer. Since then, it has always been his dream to be a great farmer. Even after his [fate tag] showed him another destiny, he still wanted to be one.
With some anger in his tone he said. “Just tell me the point already!”
“What if I said, you could still be a farmer? A great one on top of that. It will also gives you lots of dungeon points. It could even protect your dungeon from raiders. What do you say?”
Varn listened again and his anger was replaced by hope and excitement.
“Are you telling the truth? Is there such way? Farming instead of killing humans?”
“Of course! You think I could be bothered to lie to you? Who am I? I am the one and only dungeon watcher, Ferluci. You can hold me to my words.”
“Alright, I believe you. Now, tell me the way.”
Ferluci showed him a smile. A big and gentle smile but it sent shivers and chills to Varn even more than the were-wolf.
“You can be a farmer. But you’re not growing vegetables. You will grow monsters and you will harvest their lives!”
Varn swallowed those words and it felt that his brain was going to explode. That’s not what a farmer does. Although he used the word grow and harvest to describe it, that’s clearly not a farmer.