I thought we’d try something different today. Many of you wouldn’t know this but whilst I was bedridden on account of my broken knee, I took a few writing classes. One encouraged me to look at my stories in new ways.
This is one of the pieces I wrote during that time. It is a reimagining of DC/RH only instead of a cultivator in a relatively standard western fantasy RPG world, it’s a dungeon in a cultivator/xianxia world.
I hope you enjoy it. Who knows, I might take it up one day.
The mountain face rumbled softly. Rocks, large and small fell away, pushed outwards till they gave way to an entrance into the mountain depths. The two creatures responsible paused as the light of the sun hit them, feeling its warm for the first time in their lives. The moment did not last long. Once they got over their initial surprise, they dutifully went back to their duties. Hands made of dirt and stone worked the entrance shaping it into a giant archway.
Fletcher felt a strange joy as his awareness spread to the entrance of his dungeon. As his mana spewed forth claiming the threshold as his own, he found he could see and even feel the grass that grew outside the archway. He could even feel the warmth of the sun on the rocks of the mountainside. Oh god! The sun! He had not realised how much he had missed its presence in the days he had spent underground.
[Entrance installed! +10 dp]
[Congratulations! Your dungeon is fully established and is ready to receive visitors. Please be wary of adventurers!]
There was a sense of elation that came with his new achievement. His new instincts were affirming the fact that he had crossed a milestone in his growth. A growing dread and unease tempered this joy. A proper entrance allowed him to grow, but it also meant he was open to the outside world. Literally, anyone and anything could waltz in. His very fragile core was vulnerable. One solid hit would smash it and then, no more Fletcher. He would be dead. Again.
Fletcher highly doubted he would be lucky enough to keep his memories in his next reincarnation. That was if dungeon cores were even eligible for reincarnation.
It was for that good reason that he spent so long underground. Honestly, he wondered how dungeon cores that did not inherit any memories coped. He could not imagine being bereft of self, guided only by instinct. Fletcher spent several days after his awakening creating rooms and traps to protect himself when all his instincts pushed for him to dig his way to the surface and establish his entrance. Hopefully, the extra wait and work would keep him safe.
By this point, his minions –er dungeon creatures– were done with the entrance. An archway of smooth, polished granite greeted his omnipresent eyes. He was the dungeon, and the dungeon was him. As bizarre as it was at first, Fletcher had quickly grown used to being able to sense anything and everything in his dungeon. It was instrumental for the most extreme form of multitasking; directing and supervising multiple creatures doing wildly different tasks in disparate parts of his dungeon.
The new entrance was beautiful. It was everything he had imagined. The ability of his dungeon creatures to translate his thoughts to reality never ceased to amaze him. It was yet another reason to love his little elementals. Already, without being asked, they were busy reinforcing the walls of his entrance hall. He watched as they used their powers to turn loose soil and stone into hardpacked earth before paving that over with flagstones and stone walls. Their speed and powers would make any stonemason who saw them wildly jealous.
Every dungeon received five possible mob choices when they were born. His were;
- Goblins (common)
- Beasts (common)
- Plants (common)
- Undead (uncommon)
- Elementals (rare)
Fletcher immediately dismissed undead as a possible choice. People thought they were cool, but they really weren’t. At least, not to him. Even in his past life as a human, the very idea of messing with corpses rubbed him the wrong way. He was no ghoul. Besides, the peace of the dead should be respected, where possible. Goblins were next to follow. It was such a generic choice he could not bear to choose it. The choice promised fast growth and humanoid helpers, but Fletcher was a proud gamer. If there was one thing gamers knew, it was that goblins were trash mobs.
Unable to get past his own misgivings and drawn in by the allure of rarities, he chose elementals. It was the best choice he had made in this new life, and he did not regret it.
There are new options available:
- Entrance customisation
- Boss room
- Dungeon Break
New knowledge filled his mind at the options. Entrance customisation was self-explanatory, though maybe not for a truly newborn dungeon. As was the boss room. Fletcher had played too many games not to know what that was. The only new thing was the dungeon break. A dungeon’s life involved luring in people and magical creatures with treasure and then killing them with traps and monsters. Every dungeon had to. It was either that or starve. However, if that failed, there was a last-ditch option, a dungeon break. He could temporarily disgorge his monsters, losing them upon his surroundings to hunt down prey.
In his mind, Fletcher pictured dozens of monsters marching out of his dungeon and into the mountains around him to scour the land like locusts. He could see himself sending monsters to invade human kingdoms like a true end boss. It was the most metal thing he could think of. However, it was a last-ditch manoeuvre for a reason. The costs were considerable and the consequence of a failed dungeon break was death. Sending monsters out of his domain would practically triple his upkeep and wring him dry. If they failed to grab enough resources and animus to make up for the loss, his core would shrink crack as he died from a combination of overexertion and starvation.
‘Happy thoughts! Happy thoughts!’ Fletcher reminded himself.
As he tried not to think about that. Instead, he focused on designing his new boss and boss room. Selecting one of his elementals at random, he declared, “From now on your name is Duros!”
It stared at him uncomprehendingly. Hopefully, that would change when it finished its transformation.
Unbeknownst to him, above his dungeon, a strange cloud was forming. It wasn’t made of water or moisture like a normal cloud but world essence. Streams of light shone from it, illuminating the mountain face Fletcher’s dungeon was set in. All over the mountain range, cultivators turned to watch this heavenly sight, the same thought passing through their minds.
‘A new treasure has been born!’