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I got up from another rest. I’d had to sleep. Byxxell had been watching for me while I rested before, though reluctantly and with a scowl.
I checked my map. I was right! My hypothesis proved true!
Its now about 11:31 PM at night.
It seems the goblin knights don’t come out at night! It isn’t unusual for goblins to come out at night. And in fact most do. Its one of their natural environments.
But with cavalry units its different!
At first I’d wondered about this and feared the worst, but the goblin wargs like to travel fast. And it seems like at a certain point their speed is going faster than the reach of their night vision. When you are going fast with very limited night vision they either have to get tangled up in a lot of brush or have a lot of stopping! When I had been thinking about this before I went to bed, I realized that it wouldn’t be feasible to try to hunt in an environment where you can’t see very far and are moving faster than you can see the edge of your sight for.
This means that while normal goblins will work at night, fast moving cavalary do not. They still don’t like the sun, and could be out in the evening before dark or right around sun up when the sun isn’t too bright. Plus that makes sense that they’d need some sort of day defenses also for the goblin camps, towns, and villages when the normal goblins don’t want to be out in the sun. Plus, I’d also noted how the warg riders have deeply covered helms over their eyes, or sun shades, or goggles due to goblins not liking bright lights.
Its quite telling…even if you did have night vision, charging fast full speed in the dark just wouldn’t work very well. You’d be tripping every 10 minutes. And I remembered that people with horses, if the horses trip over stuff while running or try to jump a fence wrong it can ruin the animal if they break a leg. And the wargs are similar to this, though they have some durability to take the falls.
So they limit the numbers of goblin knights that go out at night! Or their frequency is reduced somewhat, or their speed is somewhat reduced. So while the warg riders can work at night, it wouldn’t be as effective given that they couldn’t move very fast. Either way I’d discovered something, but using it against them I’m still working out.
I managed to kill 2 warg knights at 11 PM, and the second one was done it at 12:07 AM. They still try to sneak around sometimes. So there are exceptions. But again they can’t move very fast when its dark, which is a huge vulnerability that I can exploit. Again, using my traps and luring them. Still…its a LOT of work to kill the warg knights because I have to still stay moving when against them, due to them easily tearing through vine traps…until they get overwhelmed. And them getting overwhelmed tends to happen slowly after they tire themselves out. Its not easy. And they take mountains of damage before they fall over dead.
Then I had to cast rejuvenate spells over the torn areas that are all torn up.
Its very hard to trap the wargs. I don’t like this. Even just 1 of them tears up more area in the massive thorny wall hedging than 10 normal goblins would on their own, thanks to how big the beasts are.
I also curbed several goblin platoons and filled part of their tunnel with water and gravel to stop them, also using the item create skill (~12:30 AM to 1 AM). I’d also given the giant hornets a boost in goblin killing.
By then I went home to sleep at 2 AM.
Before going to sleep Byx won’t tell me how to create an elf yet. Was she lying to me? I’d been bugging her about this recently. But I think she sometimes just says stuff to get rid of me. And she gives me a patient look too like a kid.
This isn’t the first time I’d brought it up recently also. It still wouldn’t hurt for me to get another level or two first probably. I’m anticipating the mana load to be severe.
Why did she have a smirk on her face just now when I brought it up? There’s something off about that.
“Hey, when are you getting up. Your machine is beeping,” Byxell’s projection kicked my foot.
“What?!” I stood up fast alarmed from my sleeping bag in the tent that’s set up in the maze’s secret room.
I realized I’d slept late because of the late combat with the goblins last night making me extra tired. It didn’t take long to get out of my sleeping bag and get my shoes on.
Ah crap I feel sort of crappy. Not like sick sick, but just like my body is out of balance. Its hard to sleep good when stuff is trying to kill me all the time. And sometimes I have nightmares of stuff coming after me in the dark. So that’s why I didn’t sleep good.
I do use a tent and sleeping bag with a ground cloth in the secret room now. I also have a water barrel here, to keep emergency water, and for drinking. And I do like camping out. Surprisingly also the high hedge walls of the thorny walls also keep the wind out, which allows the tent to stay pretty warm at night. And the maze thorny hedge walls are surprisingly excellent shade from the sun.
I put on my hat, but still need to comb my hair later (when I have more time), as I rub sleep from my eyes.
“Can you hurry?” Byx asked impatiently.
The laptop only beeps when there’s trouble!
I hurriedly reached over to look at it, in the security camera viewing program. I also see there hasn’t been much goblin activity today, nor in the night last night either. The clock says about 9:17 AM. Wow, I really did sleep in.
There’s 3 visitors there, that aren’t goblin that are approaching the front gates of the maze! Wow! Its people! Real people this time and not monsters!
They’ve formed a look like an organized delegation with 1 person in the front, and the two other people on the sides and slightly behind in a triangle formation that shows discipline and organization. They are heavily clothed, so its hard to tell what kind of people they are, plus they are masked.
They aren’t acting aggressive, and seem to be acting like you’d act if you were a negotiator of some kind. I found it quite surprising, given what I’m used to.
Not goblins? Weird…
I wonder what’s up? Why would they come here?
But this is also my first time also finding out about somebody other than evil creatures and goblins in this world! It might be my first signs of civilization!
I excitedly hurriedly checked my mirror to look more presentable and got on my boots.
I also summoned another tree warrior spirit also, since its morning and my mana is full. I added this guy to the party also, and had both of them in tow with me to go meet the visitors. (2 tree warriors now. One is very short. And unfortunately one is level 1, while the other is level 5.)
It took from 9:21 AM to 9:27 just to cross through the corridors and rooms of my maze to get to the front door area of the maze. But I’m also hungry and thinking about breakfast while I walk.
I approached slowly and guardedly.
The three figures are quiet as I got to the entrance of the maze. Are they mages? They are dressed like mages.
“Greetings! On behalf the Black Mountain Kingdom we send our greetings and wish to start a negotiation!” the head guy shouts. I can see his face now. Its a middle aged man.
“You may approach to begin negotiations. But please identify yourselves first. And I want your word that you won’t attempt to attack or sneak attack me while being my guest,” I said.
The head guy looked annoyed, but then a woman in the back also robed spoke up. “He’s been dealing with only goblins Mick. You can’t blame him for wording it that way. Don’t get offended.”
“Right. Forgive me. I …guess that constantly fighting off goblins would have some disadvantages for social protocols,” he said.
Then he turned to address his companions. “I’m Mick the leader of the Black Mountain delegation. Also I’m a war mage,” he said proudly. Then adding to the other two, “this is Saldern, my knight accomplice. And my apprentice Tina, who you heard earlier.”
We gave each other slight bows.
“How did you get past the goblins?” I wondered.
“That was a bit tricky but we flew over them, using Master Mick’s great mage powers,” Saldern said. Now I can see glimpses of his face, he also looks maybe a bit past 30 years old but showing some gray hairs early. He looks like he’s hiding armor on under neath his clothes.
“Did the goblins see you come here?” I asked.
“We engaged some of them briefly. Cowards ran easily when we showed them a bit of strength. Do you have a place where we can sit and talk? Maybe some food and drink?” Mick asked sounding smug.
Things progressed from there. And I was curious about my visitors.
They did give me their word they wouldn’t harm me and wouldn’t cause trouble.
I spread out a picnic blanket (using item summon) in the second plaza room. And I summoned a freshly baked pepperoni pizza. They loved this new ‘bread modification’ recipe.
“Say can we have some more of that?” they asked at one point.
I did another. And they all stuffed themselves full.
And we began to talk at one point.
Early on I had to ‘item create’ (summon) another pepperoni pizza. But it was to my benefit also.
First, I found out Mick is from the nearby Black Mountain kingdom. He was sent by the adventurers guild and kingdom there on a quest to find out what the goblins are up to and why there was a drop in attacks on their outer kingdom outposts and villages on the east side of the mountains near me. This means they are to the west on the other side of those mountains also, though I’m not sure how far. It sounds like its not really close, which can be both good or bed depending on the situation.
This drop in goblin raiders headed their way led them to go this way, and track the goblin marches, where they found out the goblins were marching north and west towards my mountain instead of crossing the mountains to the east to raid the struggling human kingdom there.
I have so many questions…but I’m afraid to reveal that I know almost nothing about this world.
It seems in talking to them, that this is some kind of swords and magic fantasy medieval king of world where magic rules everything. And magic is even quite common, however, this world is also filled with monsters.
“So who is your master? I don’t recognize you and I’m familiar with most of the mages in our area,” Mick asked me after we were enjoying our meal.
“I’m…my master,” I said.
They seemed a bit surprised.
“So you are the dungeon master of this maze?” the woman mage apprentice asked. (Although she said she’s an apprentice, it looks like she’s got a lot of skills and is a higher level than me.)
Uh, what’s happening here? I better be careful what I say. But is it better to say the truth or the opposite? Either could be the wrong path.
But what he asked sounds like I fit for that, though its not quite the same.
Mick’s mana aura is fairly intimidating and I can feel that he has more mana than me. But despite them both being a higher level than me, I can feel that my own mana aura isn’t much less than Mick’s…and is greater than Tina’s.
“So you’ve been out here all this time alone?” Saldern is shocked and surprised looking at me.
“Yes, pretty much. And this whole time I’ve been fighting goblins. But only recently did they increase the numbers of troops coming at me,” I told them.
“So what level are you?” Tina asked. Her eyes narrowed at me.
It got quiet.
“Tina, asking that right away is kinda bad. You know we aren’t supposed to do that. And this guy is no dummy,” Saldern pointed out.
“You can’t fault me for wanting to know,” Tina said. (She looks like she’s used to getting men to give in her way. She sounds kind of spoiled now that I’ve been around her a few minutes. Who asks that? Just demanding to know someone’s level and you don’t even know if you can trust her?)
“Well he’s hard to read. I can see why she was curious,” Mick said.
They are looking me over. And talking about me as if I’m not here. Pretty vain it seems.
“So what is the purpose of your visit to my abode?” I asked to get things back on track.
“Ah…would you like to be part of our kingdom?” Saldern asked.
“Well asking me on the spot is kind of…” I coughed into my hand. “I think I’d need to get to know you better and what you are like. I honestly don’t know anything about you or what you are about. It would be interesting to continue discussions with you and find out more about potential benefits to work together,” I hinted diplomatically.
Saldern didn’t like that.
“But you have a whole dungeon to yourself! This isnt’ fair! You could house tons of people here! You could hold a whole village in here! It could be grown into a city!” Tina blurted out.
“Do you even have rights to live here? Who gave you the land grant?” Saldern asked.
“OH! If you don’t have the rights to be here then we could challenge his ownership,” Mick said suddenly.
“That’s rude. Are you guys really a peaceful diplomatic delegation? You are acting like that right in front of me. I’m going to ask you to leave,” I said.
“You can’t do that. In the ancient code, only town mayors and those with the system administrator authority of this world, can make you leave a dungeon,” Mick sneered.
But then something strange happened…
Status screens showed up on all 3 of these 3 visitors. And the screens had big red violation warnings signs in big bold red on them. I’m sort of figuring this out but it seems the system doesn’t like them violating someone else’s space for some reason. And I know I have the ownership rights for this area.
“Wha…what is this?!” Saldern said in shock.
“Damn it…” muttered Mick.
“Oh shit. He really was the owner of this land. Shit. We shouldn’t have offended him,” Tina exclaimed.
“Oh dear… we messed up. He has the administrator rights to eject us off his land,” Mick frowned.
And just like that the magic activated and all 3 of them were instantly transported outside of my land, ending up close to the goblin camp. Ah, they probably didn’t like ending up warped next to a goblin camp. Already they are now fighting them.
I didn’t cause that…they did!
Interesting that the system kicked them out. But I’m worried they might come back in invasion mode next time.
I didn’t know this world has something like land ownership trespassing magic skills?
It seems it has to do with mayor and land rights, where you can deny entrance to your personally owned zone. It treated them like invaders and warped them to the edge of my domain.
But if its like that, why can’t I eject the goblins?
Or…does it have to do with if you are in a ‘town mode’ or at war or peace also? I guess there’s more than one setting for various scenarios. And you can challenge a right to rule in an area also, which seems to be what the goblins are doing.
Yeah that must be it.
Just then I had several pings just now in my status screen.
‘What is this?’ I thought.
I then saw there’s a mage message tab in my status screen area.
Because I’d never had to use this before its my first time seeing it. When I opened this tab in the air hanging status screen its got an email symbol in the center of screen. Its also saying, ‘you have 4 unread messsages’ on the game like interface.
What…? Like email? Weird.
Mage mail of some kind? But it looks similar to email…
Well similar to a point anyway.
Just then the message changed to now saying, ‘you have 5 messages’. Then it changed to 6.
I opened up the first message…
‘You bastard! You ejecting us put us right near the goblins! We almost died,’ sent by Tina with a few expletives after that. It looks like she was writing it fast also, so near the end the words were misspelled a few times. But she’s probably just being a drama queen, because she wouldn’t have that much text if she’d really been under a threat. Besides that team was tough, there’s no way they’d die that easily. They were just rattled by seeing the effects of their own bad decisions and getting pissy about it.
She sounds too angry to be hurt to be honest. More like she was inconvenienced.
I didn’t actually choose for it to go that way. But it was their fault for trying to do a sudden take over of my territory. Besides…when I was brought to this area this land was given to me by the system administrators.
Message number 2, is Mick’s message.
‘Oh dear. So you do have town ownership rights? How did you acquire them. I must know. You must tell me everything. Can the process be duplicated? I’d pay handsomely for any clues,’ he sent.
What a jerk. He has no conscience and isn’t even offering an apology over his previous bad behavior. He was so haughty also, all of them were but especially him.
I didn’t bother with the other messages from Tina and Mick as they were jerks and had no honor.
But the Saldern message I was curious about.
‘Oh wow. It appears we made a mistake. I hope you can reconsider working with us. You must be doing well because Mick’s magic scans picked up only you at that maze, as a human being. And you’ve fought off the goblins so well. We didn’t mean to be rude, but the human kingdoms in this area are struggling so badly against the monsters. Humans are somewhat endangered on this continent and world as you well know. I hope you can reconsider another parley with us. Please! If anything else, please consider opening your dungeon to colonization! Please!’ he sent.
Wait a minute…
Something strange is going on here. And he assumed I knew humans were in a bad position here. But I didn’t know that, only that his referencing it pointed it out.
He’s suggesting putting people…to live in the dungeons…
What’s up with that? Dungeon colonies? Living inside it?! This can be the only real way to interpet what they meant.
Dungeon colonization is a thing on this world?! This seems so different from what I’d heard of other fantasy stories where you fight the dungeon instead of live in it.
That seems so strange to me. I’d read stories in my other life where you fight in the dungeons, not live in them. Its completely the opposite of what you’d normally expect in an Isekai world. But they have this strange idea to instead live in them and defend them against outsiders!
I didn’t answer them right away. And anyway, he cured me of feeling guilty of ejecting them from my land, via the system by still being a jerk about it.
Instead I went to go check the goblin activity on my cameras, and use my binoculars…
An hour passed.
I had breakfast, and felt terribly hungry. I also gave some food to Byxxel, and enough for her to give some juice and milk to Styxa carefully. And by then its almost 11 AM.
The 3 visitors affect on the goblins delayed them approaching my domain for quite awhile. But probably that was from venting their own frustrations and self defense and not from any real desire to help me. But this let me replenish some mana.
I have to make up for yesterday, where I used tons of mana on my tree warrior without building up the maze.
My goal is to add two dead end rooms today and another corridor. If I have extra time and resources also I want to raise the maze hedge wall height a few inches.
I began to relish having some peace.
In the distance I saw some air explosions and lightning strikes down the map. Those 3 mages are still going at it with the monsters nearby.
It looks like the 3 visitors I had are fighting some of the goblins on their way out. Still fighting their way out. I got an XP share percentage but it was extremely low (5 to 10%). And very soon the sounds of their spell blasts got to be harder and harder to hear as they got farther away.
They said the adventurers guild had sent them. So maybe it also included not just finding out what the goblins were doing but also a minimum kill count on the goblins?
Either way they are killing goblins on their way out. I also see that the Mick guy has activated some air spells on the three of them so that they can fly, staying above the goblins and able to dodge etc. without being surrounded.
I put down 4 more permanent improved traps. And then I began growing them into hedge walls. This let me also intersect those traps with existing thorny wall hedging to stretch the space. If I hadn’t intersected the hedges with existing mapping then I’d only have a 10 foot by 10 foot room. But instead I have a 20 foot by 20 foot room, by joining the 4 improved trap sections to the other area.
I still have plenty of mana…good.
Over 400 mana left… well 380 to be honest.
What do I dare do?
To be honest, the lull with the goblins being gone might not last.
I began to look at my mapping utility in the status screen and study out the wall sections.
I wonder…I have to make it stretch which means connecting areas together and share walls.
Sharing walls works good, but I need to also bring the height up. And sooner or later the other goblin knights will be more fearless and figure out how to jump the walls like their elite leader can. They only didn’t because of their own fears so far…
My mana dropped to 140 when I put down about 40 feet of shared walls with new improved traps to make up a whole corridor. I also grew up the height and hedge wall shaped it. Plus, now I try to avoid having corridors that don’t turn. This curbs the warg knights ability to charge, also curbs long range goblin archer skills, and adds to confusion. Lots of L and U shapes.
But now I need to rest and get my mana regenerated.
The rest of the day didn’t go too badly, as the goblins were shaken up wondering why I had 3 new people suddenly that were all mages. It took them the rest of the day to figure out it was a mistake in thinking that they were my allies.
But it bought me time to upgrade the dungeon more!