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20 Whimsical spending habits

    "Ah, now its a bit too big," said crystal, in regards to the fifteen-fold increase in the room's length and width.

    The once cramped room had, almost instantly, expanded to a size which dwarfed its former self in comparison. It had gone from roughly 11 by 15 metres, length and width, to 167 by 225 metres.

    Or as Crystal saw it, from about one-fifth the area of an official NHL hockey rink, to more than 23 times the area of an official NHL hockey rink.

    Why she used those measurements in particular was unknown to even herself.

    Those measurements were also, only for this one room, not the entire floor. Thus they didn't include the brig or rope storage rooms that existed at either end of the ship. In other words, any floors placed above this one would be even larger, as they would have more initial room to work with.

    "Oh well, whatever," she said with a shrug, "guess the prisoners will have lots of room to, uh... be held against their wills?"

    She then stood quietly for a moment, contemplating something.

    "Maybe I'll have the prison be in two- no, three sections, instead," she decided right on the spot, "probably best to keep the 'guest prisoners' away from the 'enemy prisoners,' after all.

    "Why?" Questioned Alexa, upon hearing the dungeon core's words.

    Crystal timidly scratched her cheek as she explained.

    "Well..." she began, "I'd honestly kinda feel bad locking up someone who isn't really an enemy."

    "So, the good ones should get better treatment, maybe?" she added with an unsure-sounding tone.

    The dungeon assistant didn't reply immediately. She instead calculated the benefits of both one large prison cell, and three smaller cells. Hundreds of thousands of numbers passing through her head in an instant.

    "...I suppose. One massive cell would be better in the short term... but for the long term, two or more may be appropriate," she concluded her findings, "depending on whether genders are segregated as well, and if there is a temporary mingling period to increase the size of the herd."

    Crystal felt a bit weird hearing the way in which Alexa talked about humans. It was the same way that she had heard farmers talk about cattle in the past.

    But that kind of thinking was probably better for a dungeon to have.

    The dungeon core thus decided to change the topic.

    "So, uh, how much DP to turn the cargo deck into a, uh, segregated prison deck, instead?" She questioned.

    Alexa thought about it for a brief moment before replying.

    "7,500 DP, though I wouldn't really recommend it," said the assistant, "I believe making a new floor using your spatial control trait would be far more beneficial."

    Crystal tilted her head in response, encouraging the voice to continue.

    "On one hand," began Alexa, "if you get rid of the rope storage, which is in the way, you won't be able to use the anchor anymore, which is, from what I understand, a fairly important part of the ship. On the other hand, If you don't remove it you'll be unable to acquire any of the features that come with having the entire floor as a prison."

    Those words cause Crystal's ears and tail to twitch slightly in curiosity.

    "There are various minion positions, such as guard and warden, upgrades to the prison facilities, DP boosts, and even floor specific traits, which can be bought with DP," continued Alexa, "It would cost 50,000 DP for the better prison type, however.

    "Plus additional costs for the floor's initial purchase," she added.

    Crystal sighed slightly upon hearing the high number.

    It was times like these that she didn't regret using the cannon to vaporize the skeletal golem, as it had temporarily warded of any DP related concerns.

    "How much for the floor?" Crystal questioned, hoping it wouldn't be too expensive.

    Instead of responding with words, Alexa opened a menu.

    [Manage Layout: Floor Planner.

    Floor 1: Observation Deck.

    Floor 2: Sterncastle Deck.

    Floor 3: Forecastle Deck.

    Floor 4: Main Deck.

    Floor 5:Crow's Nest.

    Floor 6: Orlop Deck.

    Floor 7: Cargo Storage.

    Cost to Add Floor: 3,500 DP

    Cost to Add Spatially-Nonlinear Floor: 100 DP]

    'Too cheap!?' Crystal immediately thought upon seeing it.

    'So, suspicious!' She added.

    Crystal studied the two numbers carefully, narrowing her eyes slightly as she did so.

    She looked into the empty space above her and asked a question.

    "What's the catch?" She asked, suspicion in her voice. "Do the numbers get multiplied together or something?"

    "Of course not!" Alexa replied an instant later. "I'm not trying to trick you or anything!"

    So you're saying that buying the floor itself will only cost 100 DP, yes? Inquired the imp.

    "Yes!" Shouted Alexa.

    It was not as if Crystal didn't trust Alexa, she simply found that, after the multiple surprise attacks she had previously faced, she should approach situations more cautiously.

    "Alright, I'll trust you on this" relented Crystal.

    Her eyes then widened as she had a thought.

    "Actually, since it's such a good deal," she continued, "I might as well buy more than just one."

    "I mean, with the floors being so massive, just reaching here would be a pain, even without having any traps or monsters yet"

    "Alrighty, that settles it," concluded the dungeon core happily, "I'll take thirteen spatially-nonlinear fl-."

    "Wait, stop-!" Alexa began, but not in time to stop Crystal.

    "-oors, please," finished Crystal, completing the order.

    The blue box immediately updated its information in response to her words.

    "Huh?" She questioned, having noticed Alex's attempted interruption.

    However, upon seeing what the box now said, she realized, somewhat, what the voice had wanted to say.

    [Purchased: 13 spatially-nonlinear floors.

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    DP spent: 819,100]

    Crystal, in an instant, felt roughly a third of her dungeon points vanish due to the purchase.

    This, of course, came as a shock to Crystal, who had expected less than a single percent of her DP to disappear.

    She stood there in shock and silence as she stared at the box.

    Alexa explained a moment later.

    "Spatially-Nonlinear Floors..." she said, carefully and slowly, "though relatively cheap at first, double in cost with each purchase..."

    It wasn't as if she couldn't afford the expense, as she still had more than a million and a half DP remaining. She, however, certainly wouldn't have even considered the purchase had she previously known about it.

    Crystal covered her face with one hand and let out an exasperated sigh, silently cursing her lack of foresight.

    But she only did so for a moment.

    The imp then smiled, impishly, having suddenly realized something.

    "Well, I am the champion of whimsy after all," she mused, "so why the hell shouldn't I act on a whim occasionally?"

    Crystal chuckled slightly. She then continued talking as if nothing bad had happened at all.

    "Have the bottom-most of those 13 floors be the prison, alright?" She said to her assistant, before then pivoting on her heel, turning towards the brig door which existed behind her.

    "Maybe this floor could be made into a shrine for Scree or something like that," the imp said offhandedly.

    "Now then," she continued, "Let's go greet our prison's first two guests."

    Elsewhere...

    Sorrow, goddess of sadness and despair, sat menacingly atop her throne of skulls as she gave orders to her apparent subordinates.

    They were vaguely angelic-looking beings, with large skeletal wings stretching outwards from their backs. All of their other features were hidden by the black cloaks they wore.

    Scree stood casually behind her, braiding flowers of various colours into the goddess's pitch-black hair, quietly humming a somewhat sad song about the world's last remaining unicorn. She had picked it up from Crystal's memories during their last meeting.

    She hummed the song quietly as she did her braiding, but then paused, having sensed something.

    Scree closed her eyes.

    She saw an image of Crystal smiling impishly as she spoke to her dungeon assistant, Alexa.

    Scree then smiled as well. She opened her eyes, and for the briefest of moments, her irises flickered to pink, before ultimately turning back into their previous shade of white.

    She then resumed braiding flowers into the evil goddess's hair...
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