We had defeated the [Tree] Demon Lord.
He was a formidable opponent, but not one we felt we were in danger of losing to.
By killing him, we had satisfied a condition to win the [War].
Normally, we would proceed to breaking his crystal so that I could gain his medal and ability, but I had decided not to do so this time.
Whether I break or [Dominate] the crystal, the monsters under his control would vanish. Even though we had killed a lot of them, there were still some left alive. And some of those belonged to other Demon Lords.
I’d like to return as many as possible. These were aces and thus important fighting force, sure, but more than that, the other Demon Lords would want them back for the priceless and irreplaceable bond shared with these monsters.
“Kuina, how many tail furs would you say you’ve used this time?”
“About 3,200. Kuina’s gonna do her best to save up again!”
Transforming into an Aether Fox consumed a great amount of magic power. Maintaining that form also continuously cost magic power.
Case in point, she had used up 3,200 tail furs—each one containing magic power that was comparable to a B rank monster—in such a short time.
Additionally, there was the restriction that she must have charged up at least 9,999 tail furs before she could transform into an Aether Fox again.
In other words, it had quite a long cooldown period.
“Master, I’ve gone ahead and selected souvenirs for Duke. Here is the list; please take a look at it later. Among those is the corpse of the [Tree] Demon Lord himself. Despite Kuina being his opponent, his corpse is still in good condition.”
“Many thanks. A Demon Lord’s corpse, huh. We can finally test if Duke can reanimate one now with his [Enhanced Resurrection].”
“Mhm. We always get badly damaged corpses. Kuina’s power is too crude.”
“It’s not Kuina’s fault! Kuina had to fight at full power at all times against those Demon Lords, or else it might be Kuina who is crushed!”
Duke was an S rank dragon who ruled over darkness and death.
Through the ability called [Enhanced Resurrection], not only was he able to reanimate and control corpses, he could also enhance them to be even more powerful before their death. Because of this skill, our war potential was actually increasing rather than decreasing after each fight.
In this [War], the Demon Lords of this world lent their aces to the [Tree] Demon Lord, so our harvest should be quite bountiful.
Even if I wanted to return the resurrected monsters to their former owners, they would not be themselves. It might do more hurt to those Demon Lords to see their beloved monsters in such an empty state.
But all this wouldn’t matter if the corpses couldn’t reach Duke.
Normally, a monster’s corpse would turn into blue particles after some time and then vanish. Thanks to the brown knight and its pseudo-[Storage] though, the corpses should remain as they were indefinitely.
While chatting idly like that, we reached the crystal room.
Just to be sure, we examined the whole dungeon through the crystal. After all, there was always the chance that the [Tree] Demon Lord faked his own death and was hiding somewhere.
Yet, after a quick look, we found nothing out of the ordinary.
A few minutes later, a notice about the end of the [War] came.
“Are we really not going to break the crystal? Or do that [Dominate] thing you mentioned, master?”
“Yup. At least, not yet.”
After much consideration, I had come to this conclusion.
Now that we had made sure that nothing strange was going on, I called out an Abyss Howl from my [Storage] and asked it to make a Transfer array here.
For the moment, we were going to return to my dungeon. There was something I had to ask Ciel.
“It looks like the Transfer array’s ready. Let’s go back.”
“’Kay! This was a great work out!”
“Mhm, I’m satisfied with the Knights’ data I’ve gathered.”
“I’m glad you two were satisfied, ‘cause I’m kind of not.”
Like that, we exited the [Tree] Demon Lord’s dungeon.
While we were talking with Ciel, the Creator’s voice began to echo in my mind.
<<The [War] between [Creation] and [Tree] has ended. [Creation] has won. The result’s quite uninteresting, but at least the fight itself amused me. It took it this world this long, but I am undoubtedly entertained. This world might not be totally useless, after all.>>
And then, a Transfer began.
The dungeons brought to this white space was being returned to where they were previously.
“Will it really be alright for you guys to stay?”
I asked so to the ones that came as reinforcement. They came here through our own means instead of the Creator’s Transfer, so they weren’t being sent back by him.
Normally, such a thing would be quite a task, but thanks to us still being in the white space as well as the Creator once again reducing the impact of the wall between worlds, we could make a Transfer all the way to Avalon.
“Yeah, it’s alright. Kuina wants to be with Oto-san!”
“Mhm. I’d go so far as to say Duke and Marcho-sama ordered us to be by your side, master.”
“Plus, it’s not like we’ll be here forever; we’d be back there in a few days’ time.”
“Well, if Duke and Marcho approved, I won’t argue anymore.”
The absence of these girls would surely impact Avalon, but if Duke and Marcho had deemed Avalon do just fine, I would believe them. Those two have always been right in their assessments.
Moreover, even though I would be receiving custodial rights of this world, there was the possibility some Demon Lords would try to attack me. In such events, the girls’ presence here would be greatly appreciated.
All that said, what I was worried more right now was the rascal in my [Storage]. He expected to go on a rampage today, but didn’t get a chance to.
He must be quite consumed by rage right now. I should follow up on him later. Maybe letting him have a mock battle with Rorono’s Knights will be enough to appease him. That way, Rorono who also didn’t have a turn today will be able to gather more combat data for her knights.
While thinking like that, the dungeon was returned to its original location, whereas I and my three [Monsters of the Covenant] were sent to the Demon Lord Palace.
And then, the Ciel splinter on my shoulder complained about something:
<<What! Aren’t I supposed to be tonight’s appointed escort!? So unfair! Pyuuuuuu!>>
A Demon Lord could take only up to three monsters as escort to an [Evening Party]. Ciel, who was one of the three escorts I had earlier, was instead sent back to the dungeon. Hence, her discontent.
Curiously though, it would seem that this small splinter of her became exempted from that rule. It was possible that because it was weak and didn’t have much magic power, it wasn’t even recognized as a monster. If so, this might be a loophole we could use later.
Next, there was applause.
The leader of those clapping was the Creator himself.
At the moment, I was standing at the center of a stage. All the eyes of the Demon Lords in the hall were on us.
“Marvelous. You truly are one of the strongest Demon Lords of the strongest world. Despite the handicap you had at the beginning, you managed to turn it around without a sweat. Ever since your first fight, you have never failed to entertain me.”
“Not once have I fought to entertain you.”
“I don’t dislike that attitude either. I’m more entertained by a Demon Lord who challenges me than one who debase themselves. …now, your reward. As promised, this world is now yours.”
I then suddenly felt intense pain in my right arm. After the pain, I found a pattern I had not seen before engraved in my whole arm.
And then, almost unconsciously, I spoke certain words.
The pattern in my arm then crawled out of the said arm and gathered until a book with an ancient-looking cover as well as gilt lettering was formed.
It looked very much like the Demon Lord Book.
When I opened it, I was convinced. This was the control terminal for this world.
There seemed to be more restrictions than I expected though, plus there were certain costs to wielding certain powers.
“As long as you have that, you may wield the powers of a god. You may do what you wish to this dull world. Procell, you’re now at the same stage as me. You’re now a god despite being a Demon Lord.”
“Yeah, with this, you and I are on equal footing.”
“It’s a little too early to say we are on equal footing, don’t you think? I have 11 worlds whereas you have this single, uninteresting world. Moreover, I have been a deity for 3,000 years. …but then again, you have proven time and time again that you can defeat enemies of much greater stature than you, so maybe it’s not entirely impossible. Ahhhh, how exciting. Feel free to challenge me anytime. If you manage to entertain me, I’ll forgive you. Don’t worry about losing, because I’ll only humiliate you a moderate amount, only make you feel despair a moderate amount, and only take away a moderate amount of things from you.”
The Creator had such a commanding lead.
I had fought and defeated older and more powerful Demon Lords, but at most, there was just one or two hundred years between us.
The hardship of dealing with them would pale in comparison to dealing with someone of 3,000 years.
Even so, if this guy was going to keep playing with me like a puppet, or if this guy would continue to force me to kill my fellow Demon Lords for no reason at all other than his entertainment, I would throw down the gauntlet.
The Creator looked at my eyes and then gleefully nodded.
“But that’s enough fun for me. Let’s go back to the regular program, shall we? There’s still plenty of food and drinks to be had. Now, Demon Lords, I hope you enjoy your talk with your new god. Hahahaha!”
Just like that, the Creator vanished.
All that was left was us Demon Lords and our monsters.
Though now that I’m the god of this world, won’t it be better if I don’t refer to myself as a Demon Lord anymore?
All of them remained silent; not one uttered a word.
Out of caution, most likely.
Then, the one to speak first should be me.
“Everyone, there’s something I’d like to ask.”
They might think of me as an enemy, but I didn’t think of them like that.
To clear this misunderstanding and be on better terms, I knew I must speak with complete sincerity. Once they understood that they and this world didn’t need the Creator, perhaps then we could learn to work with each other. Maybe we could even become friends.
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