Sitting upon a grand and illustrious golden throne, a massive Minotaur gazed imposingly at the entrance to his Boss-Room, “Hahahaha~! Hohohohoho~! Hyahahahaha~! Hihihihihih~! Grawr~! Rawl~! Moo~! Ugh, I can’t even remember how the laugh was supposed to go… Hey, Johnny! Give me the lines!”
A deep, raspy voice resounded throughout the room: “Muhuhuhuhuhu~! Another group of children came to play with me! Don’t worry, I’ll wait until after you’re dead, to have my fun!”
Michael immediately started laughing hysterically, and Karian yelled “It’s been at least seven-hundred years, but I definitely never said anything like that before!”
Then ‘Johnny’ yelled “Oh, wait, never-mind… Sorry, that was Karion the Cannibal’s speech. Ah, found it! The laugh is similar… sort of a ‘moo~,’ like a cow, cause you’re a Minotaur, I guess? Then it goes into the generic ‘huahahahaha~!’ Umm~, after that, it’s kind of lame, but ‘Welcome, brave adventurers! I fear that you are all quite inexperienced, so I shall have to ‘teach’ you… what true power looks like!’ Then you release your aura, and they go ‘Oh no~, this guy is so OP… but we must defeat him, if we wish to enter the Tomb and complete our mission!’ or something like that. They don’t really have to though, it’s just the normal script we gave to people who were too boring and uncreative on their own. I think we used to change it every other week though…”
The Minotaur sighed, then turned to the Nephilim and explained “Sorry about this, but it’s just a part of the ‘show.’ The fighting obviously isn’t going to be scripted, but people generally like the flare and drama of an arrogant ‘Boss-Monster,’ fighting against the small and ‘weak’ adventurers. Don’t worry, Johnny and the others will edit out that whole egg-laying scene, and just about everything but the intro and the actual fight. Unlike the live broadcasts of Battlegrounds, Dungeons and Raids are usually recorded and… I don’t want to say ‘censored,’ but they kind of are.
“You do get paid, as long as you defeat Bosses, Elites, and even trash-mobs. If you die, then you can try again after you respawn. Even NPCs are resurrected, though it used to be ‘Players only’ back in the day… Well, that was way before my time. There aren’t even any channels that run Dungeons anymore, and Battlegrounds just got started up again, after at least a century. Porn has always been around, and obviously books… Actually, there are so many ancient movies, television shows, cartoons, and other forms of entertainment, that it’s probably impossible to ever really get bored. I’ll tell you what was boring though! My life before becoming a Dungeon Boss! I was actually just a regular bull in my youth…”
At that point, Talia asked “Wait, why have I never heard of any of this?” She had been alive for over seventy years, and Aeris Village wasn’t particularly ‘low-tech’ compared with most Human civilization… Unfortunately, they were still lacking in many areas of entertainment.
Elina and Alice were even more clueless, yet Jasmine yelled “Nyahahahaha~! Anime and manga are the best! Hentai is a necessity as well, meow~!”
Michael nodded, “Indeed, video-games, internet, social media, music, and… Hmm~, I’m probably forgetting some stuff, but whatever. With so many different things to do, I don’t really know why Arcana likes old-school card-games and board-games so much? Well, this whole world is like an RPG, so I guess those probably wouldn’t be quite as popular as they were where I came from. Although, people were always trying to make things more ‘realistic,’ so maybe fantasy-style shit would be even more popular here? Hell, I can’t even remember all the different crime-solving shows there were! They were all the fucking same! Ugh, but I still watched at least five or six of them… maybe ten.”
While billions of people throughout the continent were suffering and struggling to survive, there were still millions who didn’t have to worry about anything other than entertaining themselves. It wasn’t just the beings that existed within Dungeons and Raids, but even nations like The Dwarven Republic, most of The United Elven States, The Umbra Theocracy, and even the city-state Luxia had a fairly high quality of life.
However, such luxuries were often fleeting and ephemeral. Even those ‘first-world’ countries were engulfed in war and chaos. Without technology, Wormwood, Helel, and other powerful beings, were easily able to devastate entire zones… simply by releasing their overpowering auras into the environment.
Fortunately, not only were such incredible monsters disinterested in causing pointless mayhem, but they were also harshly regulated by the Goddesses. Outside of Battlegrounds, or Quests, it was typically impossible for anyone to go on a mindless rampage and massacre helpless NPCs.
It wasn’t as if people would worship the nine, nearly omnipotent beings, just because they were desperate. Those deities actually helped their followers quite often. In most instances, it was indirect, but they still made appearances every now and then.
If a level-fifty Boss attempted to destroy a village filled with unranked and level-less humanoids, it would not-so-mysteriously disappear. Sometimes, they would simply be obliterated outright, but often, they would be imprisoned in Dungeons. Ironically, many of them would grow so used to the technology and comfort, that they would rather not leave.
Even though Karian was ‘supposed’ to be a gatekeeper, those huge, silver double-doors had been wide-open the entire time. In that wide and tall hallway, it was easy to see hundreds of ‘people’ scurrying around, getting into their positions.
They needed to set up all the traps, and put up all kinds of ‘decorations’ to make the previously well-lit and pristine Dungeon, look a bit more like an actual tomb. It wasn’t as if they were going to live in such an unsanitary and depressing environment for hundreds of years, without cleaning up a bit. Thus, before the ‘show’ began, they needed to set the stage first.
Eventually, a group of twenty or thirty hideous Goblins entered the chamber and began fixing up the Minotaur’s room. The feces and urine were swiftly removed using fire-magic, but the giant tiger carcass was kept as it was. They even teleported in some piles of Human, Orc, Elven and miscellaneous animal bones.
Michael muttered “I feel like, they usually leave this part out of the games and movies…” At that point, a female Hobgoblin came over to Jasmine and started taking measurements of her body, with a tape-measure: it wasn’t even magical.
“That tickles nyah~! Wh-what do you want from meow~?!” She was surprised and confused by the sudden turn of events. By that time, everyone but the little cat-girl was wearing their armor, but she was unarmed and naked.
The short, but surprisingly beautiful woman, with green skin, long blue hair, and elven ears, explained “Sorry, Miss, but we need to quickly tailor some clothing for you. If you’re willing to pay for it, we can even supply some level-ten, Rare, pistols… but we obviously can’t have you on screen, if you’re completely nude.” That busty, brown-eyed Hobgoblin, was wearing a fancy black gown and had six-inch stilettos.
In fact, compared to the hideous, loin-cloth wearing generic male Goblins, she didn’t fit into the Dungeon atmosphere at all. There were even rings on several of her fingers, earrings, a bracelet around her left wrist, and a silver amulet hanging from her neck.
A few weak and frail Human women suddenly entered into the chamber, and nervously walked into a few ‘bird cages,’ that were hoisted up behind the protection of pitch-black pillars. They were wearing dirty grey rags and seemed to be dying from starvation.
Seeing them, Talia frowned, “Mister Karian… Who are those girls? I’m sensing an incredible amount of terror from them, and they certainly don’t seem to be part of your staff…”
The giant Minotaur sighed dramatically, “Yeah, with all the wars and conflict on the surface, we often end up taking in a lot of refugees. Maybe they’re kind of like prisoners? Well, they can leave any time they want… They just don’t really know how to survive on their own. Not long ago, I found a ton of people were hiding out inside my Boss-Room. Most of them were starving to death, but too afraid to leave for whatever reason. Hmm, with all the chaos that was occurring, we figured that it was only a matter of time before the next ‘wave’ of Players arrived. Basically, as part of the battle, you have to protect them from my minions. If you succeed, then you get extra rewards, and if you fail… Well, we have plenty of other ‘actors’ besides them.
“Ah, they won’t actually die though. It’s just that we can’t keep using the same extras every time. We usually either let them work behind the scenes, like Natasha over there, or give them a decent amount of supplies, plus a few gold, and teleport them into a city of their choosing.” It sounded cruel at first, but ‘acting’ in a Dungeon for a day, could make them more money than working on a farm… for ten years: At least in most Human countries.