"Yeah might be. Even if it wasn't, Grand Dungeons are tough customers. Conquering one should grant you strength several levels above your previous self. Or is Dungeon Daina's not tough?"
"Not at all. It's the opposite. Its difficulty level is too high, the dungeon ends up losing popularity, turning a marquisette into an earldom due to that reason. Fumu. The point you brought up is undoubtedly vital. It also explains why they were stopping at Daina and why they acted so sloppy during the negotiation. However, we have no way to confirm it and even if we do, it doesn't change a thing to what we can presently do about it. I shall put the issue aside and continue onto the more pressing matter."
Manfrey was in a hurry to press on at this point of time so Lecan only found about Dungeon Daina's history quite a bit later.
Dungeon Daina is a very peculiar dungeon in many ways.
First of all, potions don't work in there. Magic effectiveness is cut by half.
There are real and fake stairways leading down, picking the fake ones will either take you to a trap that instantly kill you, or put you somewhere with a swarm of magic beasts so dense you'd think it's fog.
The spawned magic beasts are extremely resilient and they never stop attacking even until they're near death.
Magic beasts will endlessly spawn on each floor until you beat a certain specimen on that floor.
Additionally, defeating certain magic beasts on a floor can result in other magic beasts going into frenzy, and sometimes even shut off the stairway down.
Dungeons with these kinds of peculiarities give out first rate drop items, so a successful expedition also has a big return.
Due to all these unique traits, Dungeon Daina explorers were generational.
It's not like adventurers' children don't become adventurers as well in other places. However, most adventurers are a one generation thing. Some individuals are simply more suited to the task than others.
However, you need specific skill sets and knowledge to take on Dungeon Daina. Which then get passed down from parents to their children. Six floors, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 were especially treacherous to conquer, they got to be known as <Perilous Passages>, specific houses who possessed the knowledge and skill sets required to conquer each one of them became known as <Master Houses>.
Explorers who hailed from outside could only start exploring the dungeon by joining one of the local adventurer families and getting truly accepted as a family member. Otherwise, those adventurers would either die or leave.
Daina townlord made sure to foster an environment where adventurers could explore the dungeon unhindered, bought up dungeon drop items and arbitrated quarrels between adventurers.
Daina Territory established itself as one of the most prominent in the north.
During Zaka Kingdom founding war, seeing his advantage, Daina sided with founder king and sent out few but powerful adventurers as well as a generous amount of war funds to his aid.
Daina's lord meritorious deeds and capital netted him the seat of a marquis after Zaka Kingdom was founded.
Then through a joint investment between the royalty and Marquis of Daina, a dungeon highway was built to connect the royal capital and Daina. The public would call it Daina Highway.
Marquis of Daina opened a trade route to sell Daina items in the capital through this highway. They also bought up many commodity from the capital, and sold them at villages and peripheral towns near Daina.
Villages along the highway began developing well and turned into towns.
And eventually many adventurers from all over the place started pouring into Daina.
The majority of these adventurers did not follow the old fashioned ways of exploring the dungeon. In other word, they didn't want to work together with local adventurer houses and attempted to conquer the dungeons by joining up with other outsider adventurers instead.
From local adventurers' perspective, these outsider adventurers' ways of exploring Dungeon Daina were reckless, haphazard and disorderly.
They appealed to the townlord to control these newcomers laying waste to the dungeon's order.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
The townlord began levying an entry tax to enter the dungeon. Local adventurers were exempted from this.
However, adventurers who went all the way to Daina wouldn't get discouraged just because they had to pay some taxes. In the end, the chaos continued on while the townlord pocketed the profit.
More and more outside adventurers came. Resulting in a huge influx of dungeon goods. This invited a huge slew of merchants coming from the capital as Daina entered a period of unprecedented boon. Villages and towns along the highway flourished.
However, this prosperity didn't last long.
Some of the local adventurers started leaving to head to other dungeons. They believed that the skills and equipment they amassed over multiple generations would work in other dungeons as well. And unlike in the era of strife, they were free to go anywhere they wanted now. Thus was the allure of Daina Highway.
Those who left left wholesale with their entire families. And once a certain number of houses had left, the rest was history. Even houses who were open to joint expeditions left.
Eventually even the <Master Families> left Daina. The oldest house who was active in Daina since the beginning, the same house that had conquered the last floor of Daina, floor 100, is said to have gone over to Tsubolt along with valuable Grace Gear passed down in the household.
Dungeon depths' items were no longer attainable. The capital's merchants lost their reason to go to Daina. The economic activity saw a rapid decline. With Daina missing a great majority of local adventurers, outside adventurers started getting overwhelmed by Daina's magic beasts, decreasing their numbers and incoming ones.
With Daina in decline, so did Daina Highway as well as smaller towns along the way. Dungeon Daina became known as <Dungeon of Death> while Daina Highway as <Highway of Death>.
Having no other choice, marquis of Daina asked to have his peerage rank lowered to earl. Then overcame by grief and despair, Earl of Daina died.
The household would pay less tax from being an earl instead of marquis, however, Daina was still an enormous burden to shoulder. On top of that, the household was responsible for maintaining Daina Highway and public order as long as they stayed the lord of Daina. An unnecessary expense that brought nothing but waste. The next Earl of Daina thought that there was no more point being a vassal state to Zaka Kingdom. And foolishly enough, he went and appealed to Zaka Royalty to secede and return to being an independent state.
But seceding from Zaka Kingdom was seen as an act of rebellion to the royalty. They dispatched Royal Knights and Royal Mages there. Due to a large scale magic attack Royal Mages unleashed at Daina's Townlord and its upper echelons, Prime Minister Office and their personnel had a really hard time figuring out the reason for the rebellion.
Afterward, some meritorious noble house in the capital was appointed as the Earl of Daina, they were exempted from paying taxes and all kinds of duties until territorial administration got to an acceptable level, and then that brought us to present day.