The small teardrop-shaped slime on my shoulder suddenly began hopping up and down.
This was a splinter of Ciel.
It wasn’t a subordinate of hers, rather it was Ciel herself.
These splinters could synchronize and share their thoughts to each other, even across different dimensions. By placing these splinters on key locations, information could be gathered and relayed at an incredible rate.
We called this information network as the [Slime Network].
Back in my original world, we placed the splinters not only within my dungeon but also in other major cities as well as near important personalities. It had reached a global scale.
Needless to say, we found such an ability extremely useful.
“The enemies are still in the first room. We have been able to take down 423 of them. As for our damage: 5 of the Mithril Golems have overheated and 6 of the EDJ-04 Aymr are now unusable due to continuous operation. 30% of our bullets have been used. Overall, we are still good to go.”
“I see. How about the otherworld?”
“Ruhe-sama has dealt with the enemies there and has plenty of strength left to continue.”
“Great work. Keep it up.”
For the moment, my dungeon was safe.
To let over 400 monsters die in vain, I couldn’t help but think ill of their commander.
Throwing their troops at us one after the other in the hopes that we would exhaust our resources first should be a tactic reserved for last. Rather than do such a desperate act right off the bat, they should have conserved their strength until they’ve found an effective approach.
Well, maybe it’s just that the Demon Lords of his world aren’t used to fighting.
[War] was something that didn’t really suit us Demon Lords.
Even if we could win, the things we had to put at risk were just too much. Especially the monsters we made with medals–the monsters we had grown attached to. And for what? The enemy’s powers? That just couldn’t compare.
So, unless it was truly necessary, we would not have the faintest desire of waging [War].
The only reason we had many [Wars] in my world was the Creator.
If the Creator had given up on this world’s Demon Lords, it would be no surprise to hear [Wars] were seldomly held if at all.
…but then again, my world is full of ambitious Demon Lords. Like that guy, or that guy, or that guy.
“Ciel, stick to our initial plan. Keep up the good work.”
“Yes, sir. Well then, until the next scheduled report!”
After those words, the small slime went back to being silent and idle.
“I’m relieved to hear our defense is doing great. It seems we don’t have to rush as crazily as we thought.”
“Seems like it. It’s one thing to make haste when they’re in danger, but if they’re safe like this, I think it’s best for us to prioritize safety over speed.”
“You both make good points. Let’s proceed cautiously.”
I replied so to Rorono and Aura.
At present, Invisible Violet who had gone ahead of us was surveying the next dungeon room.
Once we step foot there, Aura would then perform her own survey with her wind.
It was hard to believe that there was a monster who could escape the notice, much less deceive both of them.
Thankfully, we have the time to spare for such a thorough investigation. Otherwise, we would have pressed onward with just one of the two.
“If the [Tree] Demon Lord can’t even get past the first room, he must be pathetic.”
Let down, Kuina shrugged her shoulders.
“Kuina, if it was you, how will you deal with the current first room?”
“That’s simple! Just fill the place with Kuina’s flames and watch it burn.”
“…in one move, huh.”
Filling a place as large as the first room would be easy for her.
And her flames were so powerful, it should melt the flying bullets upon contact.
In other words, without being able to achieve much of anything, the Mithril Golems and their weapons would burn to ashes.
To say she had incredible might would actually quite an understatement.
“Mhm. And that’s why I’m working on anti-Kuina equipment.”
“Waa! Wait, why is Kuina the target!?”
“You’re not. It’s for monsters who can do the things you can.”
Hearing her Aymr, a work she was quite proud of, be described as easy to overcome must have struck a nerve on Rorono.
While the two argued like that, Invisible Violet returned.
Rorono then quickly analyzed its data.
“It looks like the [Tree] Demon Lord’s given up now. He has prepared another large force in the next room.”
“Not necessarily, Rorono-chan. I think this is a tactical decision. Having failed their assassination attempts, it’s possible that they think the most effective move will be a frontal attack. If so, rather than lose more monsters in assassination attempts that has been proven to have no chance of succeeding, it might actually be better to group up as soon as possible. …of course, this all hinges on the gamble that we can’t do that attack a second time.”
“Well put, Aura. This should be a now-or-never moment for them.”
Their strategy was to assassinate me with smaller, elite group of monsters. This way, even if I used the tactical nuke, their damage wouldn’t be as much.
And once those prove ineffective, they would go back to using their numerical superiority despite the risk.
Unfortunately for them, we already knew the outcome of their gamble.
“Yes, I’ll prepare the second Atomic Buster right away. Do keep in mind this’ll be the last for Scarlet.”
The Atomic Scarlet stepped forward.
At the same time, Fortress Brown took out a second Atomic Buster from within itself and passed it to the scarlet knight.
The Atomic Scarlet was designed and built to withstand its own mass-destruction attack, but due to the might of the attack, even those precautions weren’t enough. In fact, after just one attack, the Atomic Scarlet’s heavy armor was destroyed and the knight itself received internal damage.
It was still safe for the knight to use the Atomic Buster a second time, but if made to use the attack a third time, the knight would be beyond repair.
And for that reason, Rorono and I agreed we would limit the use of the Atomic Buster to two as much as possible.
However, that was per Atomic Scarlet. If we had multiple Atomic Scarlets, we could fire as much Atomic Buster as we wanted. Of course, we only had the one here, but back in Avalon, Atomic Scarlet was one of the few Knights of the Round Table that we had multiples of.
By my last count, we had 4 other Atomic Scarlets and about 10 Atomic Busters in Avalon’s hangar.
“Mhm, master, the Atomic Buster is now charged with the most suitable element based on Violet’s report. We’re good to go at any time.”
“Fire at will then.”
Rorono then placed a hand on the now ready Atomic Scarlet.
“Use Fire mode to burn our enemies. Now, Atomic Scarlet, go enter the next room and fire the Atomic Buster.”
So, we’re going to use fire element again, huh?
We had used a mixture of physical and fire damage on our first use of the Atomic Buster. It would seem that they still haven’t implemented any countermeasures.
But then again, why would they even bother? If it turns out we could fire another Atomic Buster, they knew that no amount of preparation on their part would help.
And so, the Atomic Scarlet entered the next room and did our opening act one more time.
As was expected, none but the knight was left. To their credit, in the hopes that they could destroy the knight before it could launch its attack, they attacked the knight harder this time.
When we entered the room, I saw that all of the knight’s heavy armor was gone, cracks were everywhere in its body, fumes were coming out from inside, and the knight itself had fallen to its knees.
“Rorono, give the guy some proper rest, ok?”
“Understood. Fortress Brown.”
Upon Rorono’s command, the Fortress Brown stored the Atomic Scarlet within its body.
The ultra-small repair golems within the Fortress Brown’s body then immediately began giving first aid.
“Seems like 70% of the fights this time will be taken care of by just you, Rorono.”
“Yes, thanks to my amazing Knights of the Round Table.”
Whether it be attack or defense, Rorono’s golems had a great role to play.
“Amazing indeed. The world’s strongest golems.”
At my words, Rorono gently shook her head.
“The Knights don’t deserve to be called the strongest.”
“You mean you’re still going to improve them?”
“Yes, but that’s not my point. I didn’t build them to be the greatest golems, I built them to be the greatest prototype golems. The Knights are so specialized in one aspect that they have too many weaknesses. However, at the same time, because of that extreme specialization, I’ve gained new insights and techniques. And I continue to do so as I fine tune them. Hopefully, this will all result to the creation of golem that’ll surpass the Knights. A perfect golem.”
For these extremely strong golems to be called mere prototype golems, I was a bit surprised. However, as she said, strong though they might be, their many shortcomings and flaws couldn’t be ignored.
On the other hand, if a golem could inherit the strongpoints of these 12 Knights without any of the weaknesses, that would indisputably be the strongest golem.
“When do you think you can build it?”
“I have no idea. I’m still pretty much in the planning stage. But I’m quite confident that day will come soon. And when it does, I want to show the golem to you right away, Master.”
“Yeah, I want to see it too.”
While Rorono and I smiled and looked at each other, I heard a groan in the back.
When I turned, I saw Kuina puffing her cheeks to the limit.
“Grr, grr, grrr. So unfair! Rorono-chan’s hogging all the fights! So unfair!”
Kuina, like this, was hard to handle.
While I was wondering what to do with her, Aura placed a hand on top of Kuina’s head.
“Don’t worry, Kuina-chan. Your turn won’t be long now.”
“Grr, Kuina won’t fall for that!”
“I’m serious though. Haven’t you noticed something strange about this dungeon? The amount of lifeforce we’ve been receiving is too little.”
“I’ve been quite curious about that too, Aura.”
Whenever a monster dies in a dungeon, some of its lifeforce would be released. Some of that released lifeforce would flow to its Demon Lord, while the rest would flow to the monster and Demon Lord that killed it.
However, in this dungeon, we hardly received any for any kill. To put it in another way, the power that was supposed to flow into us was being robbed.
“When I noticed this, I began following the trail. It flowed to the deepest parts of this dungeon, probably to the Demon Lord itself. Either way, it all flowed to one spot. And abilities that can do that usually tend to be headache, right?”
We had already defeated about 600 monsters.
What would happen if all that power pooled into one monster or one Demon Lord? A being with nightmarish strength.
Fascinating. I might have to change my opinion of the [Tree] Demon Lord.
“Wow! Then, it’s Kuina’s job to take that down!”
As though all that pouting earlier was just an act, Kuina was now smiling ear to ear and jumping up and down.
“Mhm, that’s the ace’s duty.”
“That said, we’re here to help if you need it. Of course, you won’t need it, right?”
Even in such a situation, there was no sense of worry among my monsters.
It wasn’t that they were being careless, it was just that their belief in Kuina was absolute.
It shouldn’t take long for us to reach the deepest parts of the dungeon.
Most likely, the final battle would be between Kuina and the [Tree] Demon Lord himself.
Because Kuina had grown too strong, it was now quite rare to find an enemy that could make her fight seriously.
Hopefully, the [Tree] Demon Lord could satisfy Kuina’s thirst of a good fight.
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