We were guided into the dance hall of the Demon Lord Palace.
There, unknown Demon Lords were chatting among themselves.
Initially, I thought the power levels of the Demon Lords as well as the monsters that accompanied them were roughly equal to those in my world, but on closer inspection, I found that they were quite a bit inferior.
Of course, there were outstanding Demon Lords among them, but their average seemed lower than with the Demon Lords of my world. And those that seemed to be the strongest among them were about one or two leagues behind our so-called three strongest.
If ever there was a baseline of power levels, it was either our world was above it or their world was below it. But then again, much like in our [Evening Parties], they could just be hiding their true power.
As soon as we entered, all the attention gathered on us.
This was natural; I was an unknown Demon Lord being escorted by an S rank monster.
By the way, even if it was a powerful Demon Lord, they would only be able see and examine Ciel as my other two escorts were completely hidden.
“My Demon Lord, the monsters they brought are quite we~ak, aren’t they?”
“Compared to you, yeah.”
S rank monsters were such creatures.
The other Demon Lords’ gazes were still on us, but they didn’t approach us and instead contented themselves with whispering with each other.
I had no intention of approaching them either, so I played the part of the wallflower.
How I wished this night would end in peace, but there never was any chance of that happening.
And then, a beautiful, androgynous girl approached.
It was [Desire] Demon Lord Eligor.
“So, enjoying the [Evening Party]?”
“I guess. The food and drinks are as delicious as ever, so there’s that.”
I wanted to add: not as good as those in Avalon though.
“I agree. It won’t be an exaggeration to say it’s the thing I most look forward to in an [Evening Party].”
Because an [Evening Party] was normally just a social event for Demon Lords, it was a great time to gather information. To only eat at such an event seemed rather wasteful.
“By the way, is that the S rank monster you wanted to make?”
“Yup. This kid right here will help me achieve my dream.”
It looked like a kitten that had golden fur mixed with a dash of silver at some places.
It was perched on Eligor’s shoulder, and that reminded me of Enlil in his energy-saving form.
In that form, he would perch on Stolas’s shoulder and intimidate anyone that got close from harming his master.
“I see, if your dream is what I think it is, this monster can indeed help you achieve it. Your title of being the Demon Lord of [Desire] fits quite nicely, doesn’t it?”
Because I was already at a high enough level, I was able to see the details of even an S rank monster’s Status.
Yes, including this one. Its abilities were not convenient or versatile, but what it could do, it does extremely well.
“Right? I’ve always stood true to my desires and always will.”
She smiled so brightly. It was a smile that didn’t fit her sinister ambition.
She used me, but I didn’t hate her for it. She was upfront about it, after all.
“Good luck. Although, if at all possible, I hope you could postpone your plans until I’ve gone home. I’d rather us not getting in each other’s way.”
“My, how kind of you. You know, if we met under different circumstances, we might have become friends. …such a shame.”
“Is that your…position?”
She basically denied us being friends as well as the possibility of us ever being friends. In other words, she declared herself my enemy.
“Maybe. All I have left to say is that consider this conversation as my way of apologizing. Read into that what you will.”
After that, Eligor left.
I thought about her words and it dawned on me: the other Demon Lords here were not just cautious, they were hostile. And staying away was their first move. They rather they didn’t collect information about me than I gain any information about them.
Things continued like that until the hall became dark.
And then, lights illuminated the stage and revealed a vacant throne. In the next moment, an old man was sitting on the aforementioned throne.
“Children of the Planet, I am glad that we could all be together again.”
It was indeed the Creator. The one that made us. The one that toys with us.
“Things usually only get exciting when new Children of the Planet are born, but this year is an exception. We have a very interesting visitor. He is [Creation] Demon Lord Procell, a Demon Lord from the third world. Unlike this world, the third world is a masterpiece. And Procell here is the crème de la crème of such a world.”
The atmosphere in the hall was never light, but it somehow became even heavier.
After all, the Creator basically told all the other Demon Lords that they were failures.
“Speaking of this failed world, I actually have thought of destroying it. For several centuries, I’ve postponed such a decision in hopes you will entertain me, but in the end, this world and you Children have failed to do so. I’ve grown too bored.”
The Demon Lords, after hearing a bombshell of an announcement, were understandably displeased.
Yeah, of course they will be. This guy will actually do it, after all.
“Nevertheless, I can’t bring myself to destroy this world without giving you one last chance. Even though you Children have repeatedly, continuously betrayed my expectations, my parental love for you compels me. And so, to prove to me that you are not failures, I want you to defeat Procell, my favorite from my favorite world. So, how about it? Who will volunteer?”
At that, one Demon Lord spoke out.
He was a male humanoid Demon Lord with long, black hair.
I had taken notice of him before. Even with a glance, I was able to tell he was different from the others.
“I shall carry out that duty. I will win and thus prove our radiance.”
I looked at my surroundings.
None were objecting.
There were those who were confused, but they were quickly admonished by the more influential ones.
I see, some knew of this beforehand.
Doubtlessly, Eligor was among those that knew, hence her words earlier. If so, it was better to assume their side knew of the monster I showed during my negotiations with her as well as the nature of my [Creation] medal and ability.
I fully expected that there would be a fight tonight, but definitely not one on this scale.
As things stood though, I would only be inconvenienced whether I win or lose. Unwilling to accept such a lose-lose scenario, I decided to negotiate for better terms.
“Sorry to be a wet blanket to all your fun, but I refuse to participate in this. I have something important in this world, so whether I win or lose, I am inconvenienced.”
I was not putting on some kind of façade, bluff, or whatever; I was merely expressing what I truly felt.
“Creator, this fight is not fair at all. The games you’ve prepared have always been absurd, but at the very least, the rewards for the victor made all the effort worth it. There was sense in risking my life. Not in this one. This is quite unlike you, Creator.”
Even though I knew I was going to leave someday, I couldn’t help but be attached to the fox sisters as well as to the city I just built.
“Hmm, you make a good point. Well then, what do you suggest your prize be, [Creation] Demon Lord?”
As though that delighted him, the Creator smiled.
Much like a kid who came across his favorite toy again.
“If I win, I want this world to be mine. If you’re going to dispose of this world anyway, you might as well give it to me.”
I didn’t ask to be returned to my original world.
My monsters and I could do that with our own powers.
What to ask then?
Obviously, it had to be something I would be satisfied with. The bigger the better.
However, it also had to be something the Creator himself would choose. Otherwise, I ran the risk of putting him into a bad mood, which would then lead into him forcing me to fight. At that point, never mind having no rewards, I would be lucky if I wouldn’t get any further penalties.
Thanks to having been acquainted with him and his shenanigans, I knew where to draw the line.
I had no doubt that the Creator could tell that I would use this world in my efforts to slay him someday, but because that would make things even more interesting, that should only persuade him more.
He was that kind of guy, after all.
“You want this world? Kakaka, how amusing! Very well, I don’t mind rewarding you with this world I’m about to discard. And though I say this world is a failed work, it’s still a good world overall! Great, no matter what, this world will remain. Just that if you win, it’ll be under the control of a Demon Lord from another world.”
The Demon Lords’ faces grew even more stern.
…why are they acting like I’m the villain? I’m doing them a favor here. Bah, whatever. I’m used to this. It’s better to concentrate on the fight.
My opponent was likely this world’s strongest Demon Lord.
Moreover, if he had intel on me, he would have made adjustments. Not only that, I should also assume that he has borrowed war potential from the others.
As for me though, I just built my dungeon and the only trained monsters I had were the ten I came with.
There was too much of a handicap.
If I fought head-on, I would likely lose.
…that is, if I fight head-on. Ahh, this old feeling, I’ve missed it.
Way back then, it was one crazy fight after another. I had overcome those seemingly impossible fights, so I fully believed I would overcome this one as well.
It wasn’t just optimism. It was confidence born out of doing all the necessary preparations.
Now, time to rampage with my trusty monsters. Time to gift-wrap this world.
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