Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2316743-Chapter-031-The-Underground-Mansion
Rated: 18+ · Novel · Fantasy · #2316743
Carter explores a giant manse within the Tower.

You can wash your body clean, but your mood is another matter. Carter's attitude was in sync with the murky illumination from the magic rocks scattered around the Great Room. Shadows and unprobed doors littered the area around the dozens of wooden tables and flimsy chairs that filled this room. A loud grumble from his empty stomach made his brain signal his feet to look for food, no matter how inedible.

Stuck doors creaked open as he jammed his head into each room, looking for nourishment. Empty closets and basement staircases proved fruitless in his search and hastened his imminent starvation.

"Overdramatic," said Carter as he examined the next room. The room held its secrets with darkness that his eyes couldn't overcome.

Carter lifted his hand and said, "Light." Heeding his master's call, a little round light floated past Carter and lit up the room.

Counters and wood-top islands came into view as a large smile lifted Carter's spirits because his quest was almost complete. Counter after counter denied him edible food. Loose stale grains, decayed crumbs, and boxes of hardened bread made him beg for mercy.

A sink with a hand pump became a momentary distraction for Carter as he started to pump it, and water poured out. He didn't have a cup, so he placed his face below the outlet and filled his stomach with empty calories.

"At least we have water," thought Carter. He was glad they wouldn't have to drink out of the bath.

The room stood empty of food, and Carter was forlorn of nourishment. He stood silent as he looked around one last time.

Across the room was a mysterious metal box with a handle. He sprang forth and pulled the handle with the delight of a kid opening his birthday presents.

"Empty," said Carter.

He closed the door and shook his head. A small red book with the words "Operations Manual" sat next to the device and caught his attention. He flipped the dirty pages and tried to read the ancient script that was written there.

"Cooked roasted boar leg with potatoes," said Carter. His stomach growled and made a low-toned noise.

"Savory roasted eel with seaweed."

Another low-toned noise sounded again. He looked around and repeated the words.

"What?" said Carter as he opened the door to the appliance.

"Cooked roasted boar leg with potatoes!" screamed Carter.

The noise came from the back of the appliance, and a dim light shined from the top.

Carter hit the side of the defective device while screaming food names from the book until he heard a clunk noise fall from the back of the device.

He greedily stuck his hand in and pulled out a small lump of coal. He lifted it to his eye and watched as it absorbed mana from his hand.

"I don't think this is edible," said Carter.

Orange light flickered through the coal from little tendrils of orange light emitted from his hand. It was pretty mesmerizing and mana exhaustion-inducing.

Snapping out of his trance, Carter threw the orange light-emitting coal back into the hole it came out of. Slumping onto the island behind him, he tried one more time.

"Cooked roasted boar leg with potatoes."

The device lit up and filled the room with a bright light that blinded him. He fell to the floor and hit his head. He was already dizzy from the mana loss and now had a large lump.

The light died down, and the room filled with an odor of cooked meat. He waited a few more moments while his over-stimulated eyes returned to normal. He stood up and said, "Maybe next time I'll close the door first."

He squatted down and looked into the previously empty device. A full meal on a plate was sitting there in all its splendor. The plate was warm to his touch as he lifted it and stared at it.

"Illusion?" questioned Carter as he poked it with his finger.

"Nope," said Carter.

He finally grabbed one of the legs and bit some meat off of it. It was delicious. Rushing out of the magic food machine room, he sat at one of the long tables, rubbing his hands.

The food never had a chance as a second helping was already calling his name.

Three plates sat on his table as he stretched and leaned back in his chair.

"What'ya got there?" said Seth as she pointed to the whole meat bone he couldn't quite finish.

Seth and the other women, wearing red robes like he was wearing, stood watching him with accusatory looks. They looked much better in their robes than he did.

Arista grabbed the meat bone and took a large bite off of it. "It's boar! Where did you get this?" asked Arista. Carter pointed towards the kitchen and grabbed the bone out of her hands.

They all shuffled off to the kitchen, and Carter returned to eating his leftovers. More wonderful smells and several light shows came from the kitchen. Seth was the first to walk out with her delicious-smelling meal.

"How is that magic oven still working? It should have run out of magic power long ago," said Seth as she had a large plate of boar meat and what looked to be carrots.

"Only rich people own Magic Ovens. The magic stones alone cost a fortune!" said Seth with her mouth full.

"That piece of coal?" said Carter.

"The rock in the back of the magic oven. It takes hundreds of mages, hours to pour mana into the stone for it to work," said Seth as she piled a forkful of carrots into her mouth and drank a cup of water.

"Where did you get that fork and cup from?" asked Carter.

"Magic Oven," said Seth.

I take back my comment that this world was primitive.

"Yum! It's been so long," said Arista. She stopped for a moment. The tasting of the boar made her remember Yuma. She probably was very worried about Arista. She smiled slightly as she remembered she had some great news to share with her. She touched her stomach.
Arista looked at Carter and smiled. Jumping into the chair next to Carter, she put her hand under his chin and lifted his face to the light.

"You know, you're not half bad-looking when cleaned up," said Arista.

"Thanks," said Carter. He didn't know how to answer that. An air of happiness filled the room with giggles, whispers, and eating noises.

Carter stood up and stretched his arms. A yawn drew across his face as he contemplated what to do next.

"Shouldn't we go find Yuma and the others?" asked Arista.

"I need rest, and then I'm climbing the rest of the tower," said Carter, ignoring Arista's suggestion.

Arista got an angry look on her face. "You don't have to do what Red wants you to do. This place seems like a wonderful place to stay. We have food, water, and shelter.

Seth shook her head up and down and said, "The odds you reach the top are a billion to 1."

"Besides, you have us to keep us company," said Arista with a seductive smile.

"Let me think about it on some sleep," yawned Carter.

He left his light in the Great Hall.

The clinking of forks and the din of laughter followed him out of the room. His steps took him to a staircase made of marble, gold, silver, and dust. Hidden in his surroundings were paintings, statues, and other expensive objects hiding in the shadows. He shuffled up the stairs.

"Another long hallway," said Carter to himself.

The first door was already half-opened as he slipped into the confined space lit by a small piece of coal. His hand clenched around the stone as the room went ablaze with orange light.

He placed it back into the little cubbyhole in the back, and a noise made a click. The magic stone lit the closet with its energy glow, but a ray of light snuck around the door from behind him. The hallway was illuminated, and a whirling sound evoked alarm, making Carter pull out his sword. He walked outside defensively and saw a small device moving on the ground. A dustless path began from a little horizon slot by the floorboards to the device itself.

"A Roomba?" said Carter, and a giant smile appeared. He let down his guard. He heard other devices making mechanical noises all over the house. He made out a few screams downstairs, and he laughed.

The hallway he was in was very long and now was brightly lit. It contained dozens of doors and cleaning machines.

He opened the first door and sighed in relief as he stumbled for the canopied bed. A bright glow emanated from the bed, blinding him momentarily as he stopped his trek. He touched the bedspread and noticed that it was clean. He pulled back the blanket and felt no dust.

"I could have used one of these when I was younger," said Carter. He sat down on the bed and reminisced about his life on Earth.

"Yes!" said Seth as the door flew open. She ran towards the bed and jumped on it. "Did you find a switch or button to start all these wonderful devices?" added Seth.

"Something like that," said Carter. He didn't want to give away too much. They already knew his most important secret.

"See, now this place is perfect to live in. We don't even have to clean," said Arista as she grabbed Carter's shoulders. She let go and jumped on the bed with Seth.

Corin and Hammy, always the followers, had walked in, too. They sidesteped the bed and meandered over to the balcony.

"Oh my!" said Corin as she leaned over the arm railing.

A dim light poured in from the balcony that Carter hadn't noticed, along with all the magic lights that were now on. This bedroom had two of them. He pushed himself off his comfortable bed, walked behind Corin, and looked out. The sight was beautiful to behold.

A large cavern filled with overgrown plants and trees. The walls and ceiling glowed orange from luminescent plants on the walls. Flecks of orange and red light littered the air as they fell to the ground.

"Those are the extinct magic-glimmer plants. They can radiate nutrients to plants to make them grow underground. The ability to create them was lost after the war. We might be seeing the only ones in existence," said Seth as she jumped up and down precariously close to the edge.

Carter reached over the balcony's railing and touched one of the magic-glimmer plants. His belly felt the familiar pang as he learned another spell. It wasn't quite fair to call it learned, but he now could replicate the rare plant, and no one else could.

Seth pointed to the ground and said, "That looks like a copper-shine fruit tree. Very rare and only grown in the elve's territory!"

Arista sneered at Carter, pointed to Seth, and said, "Smart. I told you."

"We need to find our way down there!" said Seth excitedly as she started to climb the arm railing. Carter grabbed her by the waist and quickly pulled her back.

"Find some stairs," he said.

"Oh, yeah," said Seth, and she kissed him lightly.

Carter released his Detect Area spell, and it confirmed to him that nothing was out there. He watched as all the women ran out of the room to find their way to the orchard.

That last bit of mana used almost drained him to zero. His head started hurting, and he looked back at the bed with warm feelings.

He closed the door and let his robe fall to the ground. The room was large and had two other doors besides the entrance. One door led to a small closet filled with more robes and the other to a toilet hole in a small room. What did Princess Caroline call it? A garderobe. He pictured her blue hair flying in the wind and her butt groped by that female knight. A repressed memory that made him mad for some reason.

"I had forgotten about that," thought Carter.

He relieved himself in the garderobe. The floor was still dirty with dust that was an inch thick. He looked by the door and saw a square hole at the bottom of the wall where the Roomba could enter. He smiled at the ingenuity of the previous occupants of the mansion.

He slipped under the covers. His room was filled with light and screaming women running outside. His curiosity begged him to pull a small chain above his head. He yanked it slowly, and the light dimmed down. It felt terrific.

His dreams came easier this time.

The school bus was cold, and the seats were hard. Ivy, his step-sister, sat beside him as he looked out the dirty windows.

"Don't forget about me," said a voice. In the forward seat sat a tall girl with blue hair and a smile that made the sunshine. She was facing a silvered-haired girl who was staring at him.

"Do I know you?" said Carter.

"Silly, that's Caroline and Silver," said Ivy.

"Silver?" questioned Carter.

"You're getting ahead of yourself," said a musical voice across the aisle.

A woman of unnatural beauty sat across the aisle, watching him with a forced smile. He had seen her before but couldn't quite remember from where. His chest caught on fire with pain as the bus ripped apart. He grabs his chest and feels the burning sensation under his fingers.

"There are wonderful things here you can dream about, too," said the beauty.

He wakes up.

Arista was naked and had one of her hands wrapped around Carver's chest. Seth's breasts were pressed into his ribs on the opposite side, as her hand lay on the other side of his chest. They were both being held from behind by Hammy and Corin. The bed covers had been pulled down to Carter's navel, allowing him to see their breasts heave up and down from breathing. He didn't remember going to sleep like this.

He tried to move himself so he wouldn't wake them up, but they were pretty entwined upon him. Arista's eyes opened up, and a small smile bloomed on her face. "We were lonely, and you were nice and warm," said Arista as she squeezed Carter's chest tightly.

"We found the wine room last night," interrupted Seth as she lifted her leg and laid it on top of Carter's.

"This place is huge," said Arista.

Corin was spooning Arista from behind. A slight surprise came to Arista's face as Corin's cold hands started squeezing Arista's breasts from behind.

Carter scooted himself underneath the covers and slipped to the bed's bottom onto the floor. He stood up and realized his penis was hard. He looked back at the bed full of naked women and shook his head. They already got what they needed from him. Plus, there was no time for that. He needed to get going.

Arista also moved to the bottom of the bed and appeared next to Carter. She looked down at his manhood and smiled. Carter grabbed his robe and put it on.

"You really could have sex again this early, couldn't you?" said Arista as she looked at the floor for her robe. Four robes were lying on top of each other in a large pile. She grabbed the one on top.

"Maybe," said Carter as he walked towards the door.

Arista had a smile on her face as she remembered what happened in the bath. She always pictured sex as a means to an end. She would grit her teeth through it, conceive a baby, and then forget about it. But for some reason, she liked this Carter person and wanted to have more sex with him. She turned around and found Seth sitting on the edge of the bed.

"I wouldn't mind experimenting a little bit more with him," said Seth with a wicked grin.

"He has a mission to do. When he fails it, he will come back, and then he will be all ours," said Arista.

"Sounds like a plan," said Seth as she jumped off the bed.

"Wake those two up, and let's start this day. I have to go tell Yuma I'm still alive," said Arista.

Carter walked down the hallway and cast his Detect Area, and the mansion's map opened before him. His mana was restored, and he felt good. He studied the mental map, following it down the hall. The mansion had over one hundred bedrooms on this floor alone—enough for a whole village to live there.

Descending the stairs, Carter noticed all the missing cobwebs and dust bunnies throughout the great hall and into the kitchen. The mansion looked beautiful. He perused the recipe book and chose "meat stew with bread." He wanted to select hamburgers or hotdogs, but this world didn't have them. He sat down in the great hall and started eating.

He studied the map, noting all the rooms and different icons that represented what was in the rooms.

"This place has a giant library, wine cellar, and a giant meeting room," said Arista as she ran her hand across Carter's shoulders. She walked into the kitchen, and the other three women followed her.

"It has a treasure room, too," Carter thought as he looked at the room on his map with a picture of coins.

"You're always blankly staring off into space. Are you seeing something we can't see?" asked Arista as she returned to the room.

"Detect Area," said Carter.

"Bullshit," said Seth as she sat down opposite of Carter. She had on her plate what looked to be chicken and rice. Carter reached over and grabbed a slice of her chicken. Seth smiled and grabbed some of his food. He placed it into his mouth, and it was not chicken. He was always told it was bad manners to spit food out, so he gulped it down in one bite. It was worse than Manna.

"Why Bullshit, know-it-all?" asked Arista as she laughed at Carter's white face.

"Detect Area is one of the fabled lost legendary cantrips," said Seth as she gulped down that chicken-looking stuff without batting an eye.

"What is that, umm, food?" asked Carter as he took a big swig of his water.

"Rorrin-hide," answered Seth.

Corin walked off after placing her food down on the table. "Grab me one, too," said Hammy.

Hammy looked over at Carter and smiled. "It's been a long time since I've felt this good," said Hammy as she placed her hand on Carter's. Both Thrall symbols could be seen.

Carter smiled and didn't know how to respond. Corin returned with two bottles of wine and placed them on the table.

"Didn't you get enough last night?" asked Arista.

Carter finished his meal and decided it was a good time to go.

"I'm going with you. The others are going to stay here," said Arista as she grabbed Carter's hand. He already knew that and shook his head up and down. She released his hand and started eating.

"Another escort mission. It seems the Tower can't just be a monster grind," thought Carter as he descended toward the coin icon in the basement. Could it be called a basement when everything is underground?

Thoughts of books in the library made him want to stay and read. His imagination took hold of him, and before he knew it, he found himself surrounded by wine bottles that were full and empty. The room had dozens of shelves holding multiple wine bottles. At least five hundred bottles could be seen, with four empty bottles on the floor.

A locked door caught Carter's eye. Lifting his foot, he kicked the door with all his might. A loud crack occurred, and the door came off its hinges and fell to the ground.

"That's more like it," whispered Carter as he looked around. Coins of various metals were piled at least two heads high. A small desk in the back had a few hundred gold coins piled on it.

He walked over to the table and opened his haversack. He swept his hand over the pile and dropped all the coins into his bag. They disappeared into his magical bag of holding. The weight of the coins alone would be hundreds of pounds.

He held up his haversack with a smile and said, "This sure does come in handy," said Carter.

He spent a few minutes filling up his bag as all the coins disappeared.

Coins were useless to him in the Tower or the Forest. He knows that. But on that one day when he leaves the forest, he won't want for nothing.

Carter's attention moves to a shoddy shelf on the back wall. He moves his hand over the surface until he hits a small object. He picks it up.

"A ring?" said Carter. He placed the gold band into his hand, and it started shaking. It slowly moved to his Ring of Fire Protection ring and merged.

"Cool! Ring of Fire Protection +2," said Carter. He shook his head for a moment and then walked out. He picked up the door and placed it inside the room. He'll fix that later. An empty bottle with some wine left in it hit his foot, and he drank the last of it. His face grimaced for a moment.

"Not faerie wine, but it will do," said Carter as he placed the empty bottle in a small box.

"Half that was probably Seth's spit," said Arista as she walked in. She pointed to the broken door and slipped into the back room.

"What was in this little room? We tried to open it last night, but It wouldn't budge," said Arista.

"Piles of coins," said Carter as he cleaned up the mess.

Arista laughed and said, "If you don't want to tell me, I don't care."

"Let's go," said Carter.

She pointed down the hallway and said, "That's the way out."

"Good luck!" screamed Seth as she grabbed another wine bottle.

"Is it okay to leave them alone with that wine cellar here?" Carter asked Arista.

"Yeah, they'll get their fill and stop."

Corin and Hammy walked into the hallway and waved goodbye, too. Arista waved back and then elbowed Carter in the ribs.

The hallway ended at a large door that was locked with a drawbar. He lifted the drawbar and tried to open the door. It wouldn't budge.

He took his fist and started to pound on the door. Arista grabbed his hand and pointed to a hole in the wall.

"Not everything needs to be busted," said Arista.

Sticking his hand into the hole revealed a handhold. He grabbed and pulled it, and the door flung open. A gust of heat hit Carter in the face, and a sweltering desert surrounded them. He had forgotten about the heat.

They slipped outside, and the door closed with a bang and disappeared behind them.

"The door," said Arista with a panicked look.

"I don't see a doorbell," said Carter.

"A what?" asked Arista.

"A door knocker?" said Carter.

"Oh," said Arista as she started looking around. She threw up her hands in defeat.

Carter held his hands where the door was, and he felt it. "It's still there," said Carter.

"How do we get back in?" said Arista.

Carter shrugged his shoulders. "I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it."

"I don't know what that means," said Arista, still slightly panicking in her voice.

"Nothing, let's get going," said Carter.

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