Located near the middle of three large cities, the Belford dungeon mine was the perfect place for information gathering. The mine itself had, long since, collapsed, but it remained a ‘dungeon’ as long as the core stayed undamaged.
“The magic formula within the core is yet too advanced for humanity’s level of magecraft to comprehend. However, I was able to tap into to after a hundred years of research.”
“I wouldn’t expect any less from you, Selina.”
She hid a chuckle under a calm smile, but I did not miss it.
“You have overestimated me, my Liege. This would have been impossible, if you had abandoned me to the Moon race all those years ago.”
The Moon race, a legendary and mystic people to which Selina belonged, hated me with all their hearts. Their hierarchical social customs blinded them to the deeds their Prophet was up to. He was committing atrocities of the highest degree while heralding ‘progressive innovation’ to their way of life.
By siding with the demonic forces, they became humanity’s enemy and my target as Hero.
“You are right. Forgive me.”
“I live to serve you, Master. Please, don’t humble yourself to this servant.”
I raised an eyebrow to her manner of speaking.
“Why the formalities?”
“I am sure to have more ‘comrades’ in the foreseeable future. For that, I must set an example.”
“Haha, I look forward to that also.”
“Please, leave it to me.”
Despite her hatred for the Moon race, Selina’s way of thinking was awfully similar to theirs. I, myself, wasn’t all that different, either. My Asian upbringing used to, and still, play a major role in my decision making. It is hard to thoroughly abandon one’s root, after all.
We entered the dungeon mine through a tunnel hidden by Selina’s magic barrier. The pathway leading to the mining area was worm-like, easily throwing off those unaccustomed to navigating inside tight spaces.
I haven’t forgotten the dizziness it gave me the first time I raided a maze-type dungeon…
“Hm. Traps aren’t activating. Monsters aren’t spawning, either.”
I immediately noticed the lack of danger. It normally wouldn’t be this easy, getting a free mining pass in such a large and complex dungeonized structure. It sure offered far more resources than an ordinary mine, but monsters and hidden traps would take the lives of workers on a daily basis. Even parties of veteran explorers must not let their guards down in a place like this.
“I was able to rewrite some basic mana-recognition functions. Only strangers would trigger the dungeon’s mechanisms.”
“Thank you, but this was about all I could manage, in the end…”
“Still, what an achievement.”
“I’m sure you can do better with far less time, Master.”
“We will see. My body was built to be compatible only with ‘skills’ and ‘holy arms’ last time, but it’s a different story now.”
When I was first summoned fifty years ago, the godly entity standing between Earth and the summoning ritual placed my soul in a body created specifically to become a Hero. I was impervious to magic attacks, but I was denied the ability to cast spells myself.
This time, however, no gods stood in my way.
“Regarding that, I apologize for taking so long to study the project you left with me. Had I not been stupid, we would not have cut it so close…”
A cloud of self-loathe cast its shadow over Selina’s pretty face.
It is true that, if we launched the spell just a few seconds late, I would’ve died before entering the space-time tunnel. My soul would then be dragged into Earth’s cycle of reincarnation, and my memory would be erased, in which case all hope would be lost.
However, I don’t blame Selina. Not at all.
The initial research it required to start the project took me years of effort. Selina was thrown into a worm hole of offworld concepts about space-time, so it was only natural she had to spend more time to figure it all out.
“It is behind us now. The fact is that I am here in Sanc Eden. However, serve me well and make up for it, if you must.”
“Words could not describe my gratitude, Master.”
We passed by vast, empty spaces one after another, each completely packed with valuable outcrops of the highest purity. They were the so-called ‘carrots’ all dungeonized mines used to lure in the ‘rabbits.’
After taking several narrow passages, we were deep underground. Not even the sunlight reflecting off of crystalline ores could reach this depth. The only dependable source of illumination was the naturally radiant outcrops formed exclusively at the lowest parts of a dungeon.
“Please, forgive me for being unable to prepare a living space worthy of your return…”
Before me was an underground research lab occupied by an astronomous number of books, notes and magic ingredients. There was one bed with an extravagant design in a cozy corner. However, it looked obviously new compared to the rest of the furniture, thusly quite out of place.
Selina must have made it recently. Does that mean she had been sleeping on the ground for hundreds of years? Hold on, considering her personality, had she been getting any sleep at all…
The thought gave me the shudders, so I had to ask.
“More importantly, have you been resting well in this kind of environment?”
I looked at her with stern eyes, not allowing any self-harming lies.
“I was certain that Master would be angry if I worked restlessly, so I naturally made sure to rest and maintain my body properly everyday. After all, bringing you back was only the beginning; I could not possibly afford to be bedridden afterward.”
She tried to suppress a smile, but it was already showing on her face.
Her reasoning behind taking care of herself was off, but I didn’t plan on rejecting it. If anything, I was grateful and moved by such sincerity.
“Hm. So, you have been keeping your body in top condition, and you even made such a fancy bed…”
I drew closer and lifted Selina’s face by the chin.
A captivating smile bloomed on her beautiful lips.
“I live to serve you, my most beloved…”
Unfastening the little hook behind her neck, Selina stripped down the loose upper half of her dress and exposed her bare skin.
Standing in the fantastical radiance of highly pure magic crystals, Selina’s light-brown skintone and her destructively large breasts set my heart ablaze. I realized how much I had missed my strong and youthful libido after ditching that old body.
Completely enchanted by Selina’s lustful gaze, I pressed my lips on hers in a daze.