As Hebe’s hibernative state continued, massive changes were taking place in her body. The ambient magic in all of Sruhl’s horn mountain was temporarily attracted to the cloud and grand temple parts of Hebe’s body to fuel these changes as they took place. Normally a much smaller area would have been affected by the transition from rank 1 to rank 2, but due to the mana-deficient local environment a much vaster disturbance occurred. Hebe’s pale-white pearl core flashed with dimmer rainbow soul lights than usual, the gaseous haze in its center quietly swirling in strange patterns as Hebe’s subconscious dungeon instinct took charge to direct her evolution from a rank 1 Basic dungeon to a rank 2 Simple dungeon. Hebe’s conscious mind drifted in a strange slumber, filled with images of her entire waking life of 23 days, her foreign memories, and indistinct images of creation of the heavens and the earth.
The first few days of Hebe’s evolution were the most energy intensive as her whole being experienced a rebirth. The ambient magic of Sruhl’s horn mountain strengthened every fiber of Hebe’s body, making it all able to withstand hundreds of millions of kilos of strength (10^8 kg) from its previous resistance of millions of kilos of strength (10^6 kg). Even the soft mountain of a cloud part of Hebe’s body was vigorously reinforces such that its elastic power could do so. During this process all the materials that made up Hebe’s dungeon, including the statue golems, had broken up into fragments to be baptized with pure magical energy and then reformed with Creation magic. The only intact things were Hebe’s pale-white pearl core, which experienced a quiet shifting of strength and power as its soul and mana deepened, and the souls of the statue golems, that were bound to serve the dungeon core even in death due to them being Bound dungeon monsters that had a one-way soul contract enforced on them from the moment of the creation. These 11 statue golem souls had their bodies break away but had their souls flooded with pure magical energy and strengthened with Creation magic as they too were reborn.
After that aspect had been completed, the surging of Sruhl’s horn mountain’s ambient magic ceased and the next phase was quietly carried out by Hebe’s pale-white pearl core. This phase was much faster, the Creation phase! The Creation phase would only take roughly a day of time. At that point, everything, including the rank 1 fountain of youth that was Hebe’s first treasure and all 11 statue golems, had been perfectly recreated just as they were before, but with stronger foundations. Hebe’s floating core had its gaseous haze surged outwards within the hidden chamber in two pillars of colorful soul beams, connecting with the dungeon body more firmly than usual. The Dungeon Rule ability that Hebe had was unconsciously strengthened by the rebirth phase of the evolution and was brought into play, messing with the enormous store of magic in Hebe’s dungeon body and even warping space-time itself!
Suddenly, the previous dungeon body, that had a ‘normal’ distribution of magic equal to that in its environment, had its magic saturation increase by 50%! Now, within Hebe’s dungeon body would always be ambient magic that was 1.5 times as dense as its surrounding environment. In other words, if one was to cultivate their magic within the dungeon’s interior, they could advance their realm of power 1.5 times as quickly! Furthermore, the mysterious Dungeon Rule ability had warped space-time. This allowed for the creation of four more floors in the dungeon, in spite of the exterior of the dungeon having retained the same size, and made time within the dungeon’s interior pass 2 times more quickly than outside of the dungeon. Spending one hour inside the dungeon would be only thirty minutes in the outside world!
The dungeon’s evolution was nearly complete, but the Creation phase had still not ended as the four newly created floors inside the dungeon, that ascended to the skies, were still empty. Behind the rank 1 fountain of youth, the previous sliding stone doors that lead to the hidden chamber containing Hebe’s core were gone, replaced by a huge door-shaped swirling portal to the next floor. The door-shaped portal was fully revealed to any that stepped within the dungeon, as the towering fountain of youth was a short distance in front of and to the right of it while the massive throne was in front of and to the left of it. Hebe’s hidden chamber containing her core was now located in a remote corner of the empty fifth floor of the dungeon.
To fill the four empty floors, the Creation magic of Hebe’s gaseous haze soul pulled at everything within her, including the shining ring of Hebe’s that was gifted to her by Morrigan but never used. The shining ring, that was actually a large inter-spacial storage module, released a large stasis cube that was quickly absorbed by the two pillars of soul light. These stasis cubes contained a wide variety of living samples of various eggs, seeds, larvae, and young organisms for Hebe to absorb and analyze. It seemed that the reason Hebe had not touched the ring was because she could not mess with it. Morrigan had primed the shining ring to release the stasis cube when it was time for Hebe’s first evolution, with their presumably being seven more such stasis cubes within the shining ring- awaiting her future evolutions. In any case, these samples alone were not enough for Hebe to design the next four floors and her foreign memories and short life experiences were also dragged out from Hebe’s hibernating consciousness and molded by Hebe’s dungeon instincts, which already had a wide range of knowledge unlocked at rank 2 concerning how to Create a multitude of environments and habitats.
Hebe’s mind dreamed of a forest, a vast woodland that she moved through as an alien and unfamiliar race. The trees in this woodland were much taller and thinner than those on Sruhl’s horn mountain and let in a lot of sunshine to shine of the earth and encourage the formation of thick undergrowth. The occasional friendly dryad waved to her from their treetop perches and will-o’-wisps were frequently seen floating through the air. This unfamiliar race was blessed such that she felt connected deeply to the element of wood and moved swiftly and freely in the woodland forest with carefree and twinkling laughter. Her skin was toned and glistening, pure and smooth, truly fantastic in all respects and though her strength was no more than humankind, her magical prowess was 100 times greater. Hebe felt strange foreign memories provide her with the name and details of this formidable humanoid being. ‘Elves.’ it informed her. ‘A magical race with formidable magical prowess and skill. The entirety of the elf race is blessed with the element of wood, with a few rare variants being additionally blessed by the element of darkness (Dusk and Shadow elves) or element of light (Sun elves or Moon elves). It is said to be a race that descends from another, more ancient race- the fae.‘
As Hebe’s mind wandered through the unusual dream that represented her deepest fanatsies, born from her brief life experiences and her vast sea of foreign memories, the four floors changed accordingly, replicating the woodland forest perfectly with Creation magic. All the animals, plants, and scenery were incomparably real as they were manifested fully with the help of the many samples of organic life that Hebe had absorbed and analyzed. Here Morrigan’s gift made itself especially known since without it, though the forest could still be formed with Creation magic, all the living beings within would have only been simulacrum without souls or true flesh and blood- unable to exist without the support of the dungeon itself. Hebe’s monster forming capacity had also increased with the evolution in rank, from 3 species to 4 species, and Hebe had only previously formed the state golems at birth. Now, Hebe unconsciously used Creation magic to birth 3 more monster species with souls and cores, though in this batch only the sub-boss of the fifth floor would be a Bound dungeon monster (with a one-way soul contract binding it to Hebe) and thus be undying.
The first monster specie created was the dryads, which were sparsely spread throughout the vast four woodland forest floors. The dryads were beautiful nymphs that feasted on the nectar of the trees that they were bound with for life, possessing strange wood elemental powers and great fertility. The second monster specie created was the will-o’-wisp, which were formed all throughout the forest- almost as plentiful as insects. The will-o’-wisps were spheres of colorful floating living energy, that were basically weak free-formed magic spirits, and possessed the power to drain spiritual energy. The third monster specie was the false elven monsters that appeared identical to the elven race in all aspects but had overall weaker capabilities, low bestial intelligence, and laid eggs instead of having live births. The false elven monsters were divided into three main types: the drones- which were all female, could not breed, and had to take orders; the queens- which produced its kind in large batches of eggs and commanded its kind; and the elites- the independent males of the species that fertilized the queens. The sub-boss monster on the fifth floor was a single, powerful, elite false elven monster.
Hebe’s last creation to complete her new set of floors was the second treasure graced to her by her rank up. Her creation magic for treasures was already set, so the second treasure- the rank 2 fountain of youth- was swiftly created in the deepest depths of the fifth dungeon floor. From rank 1 to rank 2, the carving of the indistinct woman remniscent of the radiant moon was the same and the fountain was still made out of lumniscent silvery material. Moreover, just as previously, ten servings of water was its max, with up to two servings of water being replenished every twelve hours. However, the actual water of the rank 2 fountain of youth made a stunning change in appearance, and presumably utility. The rank 1 fountain of youth on the dungeon’s first floor had water that carried a whiff of vitality and vigor and glowed softly like starlight. The rank 2 fountain of youth had water that was as dark as the night sky with a single radiant star shining out of its waters. If one scooped up one gelatinous ‘serving’ of water from the rank 2 fountain of youth, that serving of water would also look identical but with the single radiant star far dimmer than with all ten servings of water combined.
With all five floors of Hebe’s dungeon body complete, the then thin, string-like strands o soul beams retreated back into the pale-white pearl core and collapsed into very faint gaseous haze. Exhausted mentally and physically, the dim rainbow soul-lights of Hebe’s consciousness within the gaseous haze grew even darker and Hebe fell into an even deeper coma. The shining ring gifted to Hebe by Morrigan helped out once again at that moment as it seemed to have its own limited spiritual intelligence, and nourished the gaseous haze of Hebe’s core with hundreds of strands of Morrigan’s stored magical energy. The mini shining ring floating in Hebe’s core of 20 cm in diameter thus gave Hebe the ability to make a swift recovery after her evolution from a rank 1 Basic dungeon to a rank 2 Simple dungeon. With the assisted rate of recovery, Hebe would regain clarity and be at peak strength within a day.
Grace (Human) POV
The dire wolves, that were the size of gargantuan carriages, took two and a half weeks of traveling to forcibly kidnap Grace to a distant location, far from Sruhl’s horn mountain. During that time, Grace was sensible enough not to try too hard to escape as she knew that these large dire wolves, in spite of not even being magical creatures, had the strength to fight off her dear Novice realm friend, Ran Dewbleeder, and could instantly explode out with a strength of several thousand kilos (10^3 kg). Let alone a little girl like her, even a small stone house would be easily destroyed by them! Luckily, the dire wolves were surprisingly friendly, albeit determined to take Grace to an unknown destination.
“Aiii! I am seven years old already! If I can’t walk then can I at least ride your back?” when Grace had said such at the beginning of the journey, not only did the five dire wolves understand her- they even acquiesced and let her take turns riding on their wide backs. As a result, Grace had soon seen the majority of their journey as a marvelous adventure and had even urged the dire wolves to stop by various locations along the way, so that she could play more contentedly or safely explore some fairly safe areas under the dire wolves’ protection.
When they finally arrived at the unknown destination about two weeks and a half later, at about the same time the adventures many kilometers away were approaching the dungeon and entering its domain, Grace was surprised to see a small, ancient, dilapidated temple. Above the altar of the temple was a statue of a beautiful woman with two beasts by her right and left sides, with ancient script written at the statues’ base that apparently depicted the statue’s name.
“Are those dire wolves? Why do those ones look so different from you guys? Flaming fur and burning claws, how fierce!” Grace exclaimed upon seeing the altar in the small temple. At that point she had grown accustomed to the dire wolves and would often speak to them, though she seldom received a response to her ‘babble’. This time however, she was shocked to see all five dire wolves displaying submissive postures as they lay down outside of the open temple and urged Grace with whines to enter its premises.
“You want me to go in? Why are you guys so afraid, aren’t they just statues?” Grace cheerfully said, as she casually skipped into the temple without a care in the world. The moment she crossed the boundary of the temple’s open doors, the statue of the woman briefly seemed to come to life, her hair becoming long flowing magma, as she looked sharply at, the then stunned, Grace. The statue’s eyes showed approval and its hand pointed to Grace and crossed space to touch her forehead, after which Grace fell unconscious with a glistening ruby left on her forehead where the finger had tapped. Meanwhile, the fiery dire wolves by the woman statue also seemed to temporarily gain a spark of life as they stood up from their laying positions and raised their heads to the sky, giving a resounding howl that traveled as far as a kilometer away. The already submissive dire wolves did not dare to move a muscle under the threatening prowess of the two fiery dire wolves and merely watched them with somewhat excited eyes, despite their evident fear. When the fiery dire wolves stopped howling, five globes of burning blood came out of their chests and floated in the air before them, each glob unexpectedly trembling and then splitting into two. Half of the ten burning globes of blood went into the five dire wolves, with one per dire wolf, and the other half all flew into the body of the unconscious little Grace, without leaving a trace of their presence.
The five dire wolves began to let out loud howls and whimpers as they suffered excruciating pain all over their bodies, even their delicate internal organs not being spared. As for little Grace? The statue simply waved her hands and a globe of glowing earth left her chest and dove into her body, beginning much less painful alterations on the little girl. A moment later, all traces of the life vanished from the statues and they looked identical to how they originally were. If not for five howling dire wolves rolling around outside the temple’s doors and the unconscious little Grace quietly changing beneath the statue’s altar, perhaps one would think that there was nothing at all unusual about the statues.