Three days had passed since I introduced myself as the lord of the land.
The city and the dungeon proper were now adequately ready.
It wasn’t just the people of the land whose stomachs were filled, mine was too.
And thanks to the emotions I ate, I became healthy enough to freely wield my powers as a Demon Lord again.
The people were giving out emotions that were of better quality than I expected. Given how much they suffered though, it was only natural for their gratitude toward me to be this strong, I suppose.
…but then again, if this was them at their most grateful and it barely made me full, there was a problem. Afterall, familiarity breeds contempt. Before long, humans would take for granted the things I’ve given them and thus stop feeling thankful. Humans were quick to forget like that.
“It might not last for long, but the results are still promising. I think the best way forward is the same as before: gather more humans.”
Gaining relatively weak emotions per person was a fundamental reality one must come to terms with and compensate for when building a city as a dungeon, especially a peaceful one.
By increasing the population, I could make up for the decreasing levels of gratitude.
“And for that…”
Slave trade was allowed in this country, so I could just buy a lot of them with money.
Alternatively, I could invite farmers of neighboring territories to move here. That should come easy once they know they could have their own land, a daily provision of food, and only pay low taxes. But then again, such a course of action would also invite the ire of the neighboring lords.
“Inviting farmers sounds like the more troublesome route. Should I go buy slaves then?”
According to Ciel, the country had won a war with another country just two months ago. Many from the other country were captured and turned into slaves as part of the spoils. So, right now, slaves were not in short supply.
I personally wasn’t too keen on buying slaves, but between the slave traders becoming pleased with the money I would throw their way, the slaves themselves becoming relieved that they could still live a decent life, and the activity this action would bring to the city, I didn’t mind going forward with this either.
Moreover, it might be the less troublesome course of action, but it was by no means hassle-free. I fully expect there to be a drop in public order at the beginning. That said, deploying more golems to keep the peace should be enough to solve that.
“Alright, it’s decided. …still, to develop and protect this city for at least 20 days, that’s such a long time.”
Demon Lords could make only one medal each month.
Upon coming to this world, I had on my person a few medals of other Demon Lords and one of my own [Creation] medal. I always made sure to have at least one [Creation] medal. After all, in case I got myself driven into a corner, the [Creation] medal’s versatility could allow me to turn the tables by making a monster that best fit the situation.
However, in order to gain a dungeon in this world, I had to trade that one medal to [Desire] Demon Lord Eligor. Because of that, the medal I made for this month was a [Creation] medal.
The problem with that was I couldn’t make the S rank I needed with just my medal. I also needed a medal that could bestow the Transfer ability or something like it. For that reason, I had to wait another 20 days from today.
As for which specific medal to make, the [Transference] medal, the medal of the Demon Lord that sent me to this world, comes to mind. Thankfully, Kuina and the others back in Avalon had destroyed his crystal, allowing me to make the aforementioned medal.
Once I made such a monster and I was in a position to back it up, I should be able to get back home to Avalon. Until then, I must protect this new dungeon and find ways to feed on more emotions.
“My Demon Lord, the ritual’s ready.”
“Okay. Thanks for telling me.”
“My [Perfect Trace] would been enough for this, and even have better accuracy. It’s a shame I’m still not ready to use it yet.”
There was a link between my crystals, so I tried to use that to get in touch with Avalon. However, as though there was a huge wall between the crystals, I failed to get through.
For that reason, I decided to try again once I’ve eaten enough emotions. Even now though, there was a chance for me to fail, so I asked Ciel to prepare a ceremony that would boost thought transmission.
“Well, it is what it is. Shall we go now? I feel quite energetic right now.”
“Okay. You go on ahead, I’ll bring the High Elves. They’re the ones most compatible with your magic power.”
“Understood. I’ll leave the rest to you.”
…will it work? I hope it does.
In my crystal room, there was a magical array etched on the ground. And standing outside of the array were four High Elves who were chanting and increasing the levels of their magic power.
Normally, transferring magic power to another individual was incredibly difficult. However, by using the magic array Ciel prepared, that difficulty was nullified.
“Okay, everyone, if you please.”
And so, we began.
The High Elves increased their magic power levels further and began making it flow into me. I then directed the combination of their magic power and my own Demon Lord powers toward the crystal.
Suddenly, I felt the link between the crystal in Avalon and the crystal in front of me become stronger.
“The wall… it’s too thick…”
That was the image that popped into my mind.
Last time, I couldn’t proceed further. I didn’t even have an idea where I was supposed to head towards.
But this time was different. I was in tip-top shape. I could push my way through.
At the same time though, a look of anguish began to appear on the High Elves faces. It would seem this was putting a considerable burden on them.
Still, I willed my thoughts to go further, deeper. Finally, I was able to cross the wall.
That was when I realized something.
It was less of a wall, and more of a continuous, seemingly never-ending barrage of pain and torture.
“No, not yet. I’m not giving up yet.”
I did all I could to keep my mind from breaking.
That was despite not even knowing if I was going in the right direction. There was a link between my two crystals and I was doing my best to follow it, but that link was weak and unreliable.
Suddenly, I felt a familiar feeling.
The warmth of someone that had always been near me flowed to me.
Ahh, of course. This is the thing I must not forget above all else. This bond. Our bond.
Yes, it was the warmth of my most trusted, most beloved monsters: my [Monsters of the Covenant].
I will not lose my way anymore. I will cross this wall between the worlds, and we will be reunited at last.
So as to not get crushed by the tremendous pressure assailing me, I shouted with all my might.
I shouted not just with my thoughts, but also with my actual voice.
And so, I continued to follow the thin thread that bound me and my monsters together.
Please, please let me make it.
Meanwhile, I sensed one of the High Elves has collapsed.
She ran out of magic power. And because the burden was now heavier on the three High Elves that remained, it was only a matter of time before the next one falls.
Once all of them were no longer able to support me, my thoughts would be forced back. I just couldn’t proceed further on my own.
And when all hope seemed lost, I heard a faint voice.
“Master, at the same time tomorrow, our side will try too.”
The thought transmission ended there.
Having exhausted all my strength, I fell on my ass.
“My Demon Lord, are you alright?!”
Ciel rushed toward me and began wiping the sweat on my face.
“Yeah, I’m fine. …it’s a success, Ciel. Aura noticed.”
It was only for a few seconds and for only a few words, but that didn’t diminish the fact that I was able to make contact.
“Hmmm, that’s great and all, but it doesn’t mean much if you weren’t able to hold a conversation.”
“Yeah, but Aura, amazing as always, was able to tell me just enough before we got cut off. She said: same time tomorrow, our side will try too.”
Based perhaps on the faintness of my thoughts, she was able to tell that I couldn’t stay for long, so instead of expressing how happy she was at our reunion or how worried she was for me, she opted to go straight to the point.
Moreover, she likely also guessed that we would need time to recover before trying again, hence why she scheduled the next attempt to be 24 hours later.
That said, even if we were to try again, it would likely end up the same. Thankfully, she also deduced that we were making use of the link between my crystals despite the fact that owning a second crystal was unheard of in my world. The method known, they could go try it themselves and meet us halfway, thus lessening the burden on both sides.
In an instant, Aura was able to tell what was happening and how best to deal with it. If that wasn’t amazing, I had no idea what was.
“Wow, Aura-sama’s as brilliant as always. She really is Avalon’s second most cunning monster!”
“She’s the second? Who’s the first?”
She won’t say it’s her, would she?
“I’m shocked you even have to ask, my Demon Lord. It’s Duke-sama, of course! Oh, by the way, I’m maybe the fifth most cunning. I’m plenty great, don’t get me wrong, but not when compared to those two.”
Yeah, those two are simply exceptional.
It was because I knew those two were in Avalon that I was relatively calm.
I could hazard a guess on who the third and fourth most cunning monsters were, but out of consideration for Ciel, I chose not to say it out loud.
By now, Aura should be in the process of informing Duke of what happened. After that, it was reasonable to assume that they would prepare all they could until the scheduled time.
“I’m excited to talk with everyone again.”
“Me too! And then, we can all plan our way back home!”
I gained more from this experiment than expected. Getting back home to Avalon shouldn’t be a pipe dream anymore.
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