I did have some understanding of what she was explaining. After all, I had faced my own copy in the Widow’s Labyrinth, although that was a doppelganger. Lord Karr from Karr’s dungeon was an example of a miasmic copy created by a normal soul. It stood to reason that what I had been noticing previously, that the “first” time a boss is destroyed is their original form where each subsequent time was a copy, wasn’t entirely right.
What I was actually noticing were bosses created from corrupted souls. Once the creature was killed, the soul was released back into the dungeon again, where it would face further corrosion. Just like how every time a person is resurrected, their soul would get damaged, every time a boss was destroyed, the corrupted karmic soul would be whittled away too.
Then, there were cases like the giant who was a poor copy of Xin based not on her soul, but on memories and imprints of her. The dungeon would have slowly refined her, perhaps extracting more memories of her as time passed, but she would always be a poor imitation. Meanwhile, Salicia was actually a perfect miasmic copy of a woman who had died before I ever came to this world. I didn’t feel bad, because the Salicia who died I had never met, but I was shocked.
“So, you tamed Salicia with Monster Tamer?” I asked.
This was what made the most logical sense to me. I had taken several bosses from dungeons and had them serve me. However, as soon as I said it, I started to think that wasn’t quite right. Salicia didn’t act like the other monster’s I had tamed. She didn’t seem to have any free will at all. Calypso leaned forward like she was going to tell me, but then stopped and stepped back, a smile forming on her face.
“Monster taming is certainly a way. However, while I like free will among my women, I don’t like it among my servants. As for how, you should already know the answer.”
For a second, I thought that she had realized something about me. The worried look on my face only made her chuckle, though.
“Deedee, do you honestly not know why I saved your life?”
“B-because you wanted me in your harem?” I answered.
“You’re a cute girl, but I encounter many cute girls. The reason some become mine, while others are thrown to my men, is because of what they can do for me. Take Siti… for example.” Siti jerked as she gestured to the woman and continued. “She has the rather rare job, Blue Mage. With her Portals, I’ll be able to leave the Western edge of Aberis and my bandits will be able to attack anywhere! Every girl here offers me something that will help me gain power. Do you know what you offer?”
“I can smell the miasma on you.” She chuckled.
“I-I’m not a dungeon monster!”
She shook her head. “No, you’re not, however, you are a Dark Priest!”
I didn’t expect her to be able to see that. I had been worried that she might have detected the cut, or my ability to produce mana, but not the job I had set. I was suddenly really glad I had left it selected.
Calypso reached out and grabbed my hands, pulling me toward her. “Do you know what I see when I look at you? I see a young version of myself. You have the gift to control miasma, just as I do. Together, we can accomplish miracles. I want to teach you everything I know.”
“Wh-why would you do that?”
“In time, I will defeat him, and conquer the five kingdoms, creating the empire he never could. I will become the eternal Bandit King. You… you will become my Bandit Queen!”