- Author: Dante King
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Monster Mansion 2
Copyright © 2021 by Dante King
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The black Chrysler purred smoothly as I drove it up the wide suburban streets toward the mansion. The neighborhood was deserted, and that was no surprise. I glanced at the readout on the LED dashboard clock. It was 3am.
All was quiet in the car. Astrid, Belinda, and Selena—the three government agents who had become my teammates—sat silently, each absorbed in their thoughts. Belinda and Selena, sitting in the back seats, had both dropped off to sleep. Astrid, sitting in the seat beside me, stared out the passenger side window.
I glanced over at her. Her beautiful face was drawn with pain, and her hands cradled her injured leg. Her ice blonde hair was drawn back into a tight ponytail, and her pale blue eyes gazed off into the night.
Astrid was a lycan, a beastkin woman descended from the Outworlders of Eosor. Her appearance was that of a beautiful human female, except for the two wolf-like ears that rose out from the top of her head, and the bushy tail that was currently tucked neatly away behind her. In battle, she had the ability to transform into a monstrous werewolf with deadly speed and ferocious teeth and claws.
She was wearing her battle dress—a leather jumpsuit that hugged her figure, showing off her lithe curves, and was low cut to show off her round, firm breasts. Astrid was a stunning woman, and though we’d only known each other for less than a month, we had grown close.
“Hey Astrid,” I said softly. “How are you feeling? How’s your leg?”
“Sore,” she admitted through gritted teeth, glancing at me. She grimaced. “I can’t believe I let that monster get close enough to hit me with its Acid Breath attack.”
“Don’t beat yourself up about it,” I reassured her. “You did great. All three of you did. Once we get back to the mansion, Kyrine will have a healing potion for you that’ll sort you right out.”
Astrid nodded, smiling at me. “You’re right, Jeremy. It hurts just now but Kyrine will make it better quickly. And it was worth it. That was a hell of a fight. It could have been a lot worse than a burn on my leg.”
It had been a hell of a fight. We had headed into the woods in pursuit of a Putrefied Cobra, a horrifically mutated magical beast, in the hopes of retrieving the creature core. We had won the fight, and harvested the core, but it had been a close call and had taken all of us giving it everything we had to win. We’d all learned a lot.
Astrid lapsed into silence for a minute, then spoke again. “You know, Jeremy,” she said thoughtfully, “since you bonded with Kyrine, she’s become a lot less unpredictable. I was afraid of her before, but now that you’re here, I’m less afraid of her. I’m actually beginning to like her.”
I chuckled. “You’d have to be crazy not to be at least a bit afraid of her. After all, she is an incredibly powerful and ancient dungeon spirit. I’m impressed that you managed to establish a relationship with her in the first place.”
“It was difficult at first, but once she realized that our mission was to find her a Keeper and so restore her to her full power, she understood that it was in her best interests to help us out.”
“And you’ve succeeded in that mission,” I said.
I was the dungeon spirit’s new Keeper. Kyrine had rejected several candidates before I’d been found. By a fluke of genetics, I was an almost full-blooded Keeper, a descendent of the ancient Eosorean race. My role now was to bond with the dungeons and guide their progression to higher levels of power and complexity.
The dungeons were conscious, living beings who manifested as physical spaces like cave networks, castles, or ancient temple complexes. Kyrine’s dungeon manifestation was a sprawling, opulent mansion set in massive overgrown grounds and existing hidden within a quiet suburb here on the outskirts of the city. Magic cloaked the mansion, and unless Kyrine willed it, nobody would notice its presence.
For many years, the dungeons that had escaped Eosor had lain hidden here on Earth in a kind of stasis, with nobody even aware of their existence. Now, they had begun to awaken again. The shadowy Extra Dimensional Intelligence agency had been tasked with finding Keepers to bond with the dungeons and guide their progression.
I had been completely ignorant of any of this until a week ago, when Astrid and her fellow agents, Belinda and Selena, had burst into my life. They were Extra Dimensional Intelligence agents, and their mission was to see me