We had come once more to the Creator’s abode, the Demon Lord Palace.
In total, this would be my third time participating in the yearly [Evening Party].
The first time was when we newly-born Demon Lords made our debut in the world of Demon Lords. Last year, when I transitioned from being a new Demon Lord to being an adult one, I attended for the second time. And now, just like those two times, I was chatting with many other Demon Lords while enjoying the seemingly infinite food and drinks.
I always found it amusing that these people I could casually talk with were actually fearsome beings that ruled over dungeons.
“Unlike last year, it seems this year’s [Evening Party] will be a peaceful one…or maybe not. In fact, things might be a bit more troublesome this time.”
During last year’s [Evening Party], we announced to all the Demon Lords there that we were forming a new faction. Given that our faction centered around us one-year-old Demon Lords, we had expected to attract the ire of the older Demon Lords.
However, because we had made it known that we were very much capable of pushing back when pushed, as well as the fact that we counted [Beast] Demon Lord Marchosias among us and that the [Time] Demon Lord Dantalian was willing to cooperate with us, our faction was welcomed.
Reluctantly welcomed, I should add. By no means was the last year peaceful and quiet. Again and again, Demon Lords who wanted us to conform showed up before us.
“Oto-san! The food here in the Demon Lord Palace is as delicious as ever!”
“Mhm, I agree. The food in Avalon is without a doubt delicious, but these ones, there’s just something about them.”
“I know, right? It’s so surreal. I feel like rather than made, these are conjured.”
Three girls were conversing while enjoying the food.
The cheerful fox girl who appeared to be in the latter half of her teens was Kuina the Celestial Fox.
The flat-chested, silver-haired, dwarf girl who appeared to be in the middle of her teens was Rorono the Elder Dwarf.
And the unbelievably sexy…err, charming, blond-haired elf was Aura the Ancient Elf.
Each one of them was an S rank monster worthy of being called a trump card, but not only that, each of them was also my [Monster of the Covenant]. Their appearance might suggest otherwise, but each of them was more than capable of destroying a whole country if they so wished.
“Your monsters are so lively as always.”
“I think it’s only Procell and his monsters who could act so casually in an [Evening Party].”
“Nice to see you again, Stolas and Ronove. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m glad that you two seem to be well.”
Two Demon Lords who were also participating in the [Evening] Party approached me.
One was a beautiful girl who wore a chic-style dress and whose hair was more purple than black. She was a powerful Demon Lord who commanded [Wind], one of the four major elements. She was [Wind] Demon Lord Stolas.
The other one was a cheery, well-dressed, bipedal frog who possessed quite a unique ability. He was [Viscosity] Demon Lord Ronove.
Both of them were accompanied by their respective monsters.
On Stolas’s shoulder was a jade-green, cat-sized dragon who was guarding her as though it was some kind of knight.
Meanwhile, behind Ronove’s was a green slime who was bouncing around, going all *pyon pyon*.
The monsters that accompanied them were also S rank monsters made through my [Creation] medal.
The cat-sized dragon, who was actually Enlil the Storm Dragon Knight Bahamut, greeted the other by issuing a *kyui* cry, while the green slime, who was actually Suramaru the Forbidden Slime, greeted back by extending a feeler to shake Enlil’s paw.
They’re so cute! Well, not as cute as my monsters though.
“Suramaru’s glad to see you too, Procell. It’s just a shame she can’t meet her little sister. I mean, of course we expected you to bring your three [Monsters of the Covenant] for tonight, but still.”
“Yeah, I also brought her along, but she’s in my [Storage] right now”
In an [Evening Party], a Demon Lord could only be accompanied by up to three of their monsters.
Even though Demon Lords had [Storage], which allowed them to store up to ten monsters in a separate dimension and then summon those monsters anytime, it was forbidden to bring the monsters out during an [Evening Party]. That said, it was still better to have a full [Storage] because something might happen after or maybe even during the [Evening Party].
Among the ten that I had in my [Storage] was the little sister of Ronove’s Suramaru. When I gave Ronove my [Creation] medal, he also gave me his [Viscosity] medal. Thanks to that, I was able to make an S rank monster similar to his.
Out of all my monsters, that monster was the most adaptable and versatile. Additionally, if it used that ability properly and if it was given just a few seconds, even my [Monsters of the Covenant] could be overwhelmed. In terms of being prepared for the unexpected, there was no better monster. For that reason, it was definitely worthy of one of the limited spots in my [Storage].
“I’m surprised you didn’t bring Marchosias-sama though.”
“You know these three: each one’s going to throw a fit if I didn’t choose them. …besides, Marcho’s that right now”
“Oh, oh right. Yeah, I guess it really is better for her to stay home.”
By that, I meant a most happy thing. I never would have imagined such a thing would happen to Marcho and myself.
“By the way, Procell, what does it feel like to be recognized as one of the three strongest Demon Lords?”
“I would like to say it hasn’t sunk in yet, that it doesn’t feel real, but the stares that the other Demon Lords are giving me are enough for me to know what this position means. So, to answer your question, this whole thing’s unnerving, to say the least.”
The ones previously recognized as the three strongest Demon Lords were [Dragon], [Beast], and [Time].
However, because the [Dragon] Demon Lord passed away and [Beast] Demon Lord Marchosias was technically no longer a Demon Lord, two new ones rose to the top.
And then, I shook things up again by defeating one of those new ones and thus taking their place at the top.
I, a two-year-old Demon Lord, was officially recognized as one of the three strongest Demon Lords.
…and being at the top actually scared me.
I was confident in having enough might to be worthy of the title, but I was still lacking in the other important areas.
I was constantly hounded by the worry that somebody someday would pull the rug from under my feet.
And so, more than ever, I found having individuals I could call friends to be invaluable right now.
Sure, as time passed and my influence grew, I had associated and allied myself with more Demon Lords, but even so, the ones I could trust my life with remained at four.
There was [Time] Demon Lord Dantalian, both a trusted ally and a rival in love.
There was also [Wind] Demon Lord Stolas, who was my rival, my friend, and perhaps something more.
[Viscosity] Demon Lord Ronove, who was like a little brother to me, empathized with my dreams and supported me in making them real.
The dependable [Despair] Demon Lord Belial was the one we looked up to as some kind of older brother.
And even though she wasn’t a Demon Lord anymore, [Beast] Demon Lord Marchosias, who was my assigned guardian and now my lover, should be added to this list.
I was acquainted with more Demon Lords now, but the ones I could trust remained ever the same.
On the other hand, I guess I should just be thankful that I knew them right from the start.
After Stolas and Ronove left, other Demon Lords who wished to flatter me and get on my good side approached. It was laughable how many of them tried to drive me out due to jealousy or some such last year. But then again, quickly adapting to change was an ability that was necessary to survive.
The [Evening Party] continued. But then, the place suddenly got even livelier.
The Creator showing up was the reason.
Two years ago, he appeared as an old man. Last year, he showed up as a young man. This year, her appearance was that of a voluptuous beauty. Not that it mattered, since the Creator could change her appearance to whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted.
“Celestial Children, I’m glad to see you all gathered here again this year.”
At that, we Demon Lords were relieved. After all, if the Creator was in such a good mood, he wouldn’t make us do something absurd.
The Creator treated us Demon Lords as her entertainment. Her toys.
Whatever outrageous things she says, we were forced to obey.
I would never forget what she made us do last year. Not only did a lot of Demon Lords suffer serious damage, three human nations that got involved in the ordeal vanished completely.
Unlike other Demon Lords’ dungeons, mine was a city, so the effects of such an event was multiple times harder on me.
The Creator continued on talking.
“These two years have been amusing. An unusual Celestial Child was born, the power balance among you has been shaken up, and your festivities after it all, oh, it was so entertaining to watch.”
…that unusual Celestial Child must be me.
Simply put, I was too strong. So, before I could reach my full potential, older Demon Lords had been trying to crush me one after the other.
Ironically, each of their attempts had only made me stronger. Case in point, the older Demon Lord I defeated the other day gave me enough might and, more importantly, enough recognition to be one of the three strongest Demon Lords. Now, instead of challenging me, the other Demon Lords were trying to gain my favor.
“…and now, things have calmed down once again. In other words, things have become boring again. To make things worse, that unusual Celestial Child has no aspiration. And since most of you have realized he’s the kind of Demon Lord that would only start a fight if provoked, you’re now thinking it’s better to just leave [Creation] alone. Oh, oops, I said who he is. Whatever, you all knew who I was talking about anyway. So, going back on topic, if you all follow this path, your days of peace and tranquility are bound to continue. And that’s too boring for me…so, let’s fix that!”
All Demon Lords, including—or rather, specially—me, tensed up.
There was just no way such what he had said could lead to something good.
“I want the number of Demon Lords to be halved within a year’s time. If a year has passed and more than half of you remain, I’ll pick at random which ones I’ll make vanish to get to that number. So, if you don’t want that, wage wars with each other and reduce your numbers.”
What an absolutely absurd thing to say. By saying such a thing, Demon Lords would naturally be at each other’s throats.
No Demon Lord was philanthropic enough to let the year pass by peacefully at the cost of their own life as well as their monsters’.
Even I wouldn’t do that.
Moreover, what would happen once there was only half of us left and the Creator was bored again? Would he order us to kill each other again? Would the Creator force us to kill our friends and lovers until only one Demon Lord was left?
I for one wouldn’t allow it.
If half of us was going to disappear anyways, it might actually be better for us to band together and challenge the Creator.
I then felt the Creator looking at me, so I looked back. When I did, I saw her grinning.
Wait, is she making us do this so that we would come to the decision of fighting her?
“Well, that’s all I have to say. I’m expecting things to become a whole lot interesting. Ahh, almost forgot to say the usual. Shine brightly, Celestial Children.”
Us Demon Lords had kept our silence, but once the Creator vanished, we burst into an uproar. Because a lone Demon Lord would be killed almost certainly, cooperating with others was the key right now. And considering the stipulations, a group could be as many as half of the total number of Demon Lords.
Shit, no time to think about that. I should act before it’s too late.
Even if we wound up doing what the Creator intended us to do, I still decided to propose to the others that we should all cooperate together and challenge the Creator.
And so, I headed to the stage.
However, my path was blocked.
“Let me through! I’ll listen to you later!”
Given my position as one of the three strongest Demon Lords, it was natural for the others to come to me now for help.
“Uuuggh, don’t get in Oto-san’s way!”
“So persistent. They’re making me want to blow their heads off. As usual.”
“Rorono-chan, they’re still Demon Lords, so saying things like that even as a joke…”
My monsters formed a wall to block the incoming Demon Lords, but that was pretty much all they could do because of the [Evening Party]’s special rule that prohibited any harm to the Demon Lords.
Among those Demon Lords, one managed to grab my hand.
I wanted to break free by shaking their hand off, but again, the special rule prevented me.
“Could you let me go? There’s something I have to do.”
The one that grabbed me was a humanoid man that had the tail of a serpent.
“We’ve met before, but I bet you can’t even recall my name, can you? Well, you’re special a Demon Lord, so I guess it’s only natural that you don’t give a damn about some nobody like me, yeah?”
“I really don’t have time right now. I’ll listen to you later.”
Ignoring my words and refusing to let me go, he continued his ramblings.
“…it’s so unfair. So, so unfair. Why are you so strong? It’s preposterous. I have to go through so much hardships in order to get a chance—just a chance—at what I want, but you, you just show up and you get it. Power, fame, women, money, anything, everything, you get it all. Even this new ordeal’s nothing to you, isn’t it? Unfair, simply unfair, and I cannot accept that.”
“Look, if you have something to say, say it already. Get it over with.”
I had seen many like him.
I couldn’t blame them. Even I thought that my [Creation] medal and my special ability were too strong. But what was I supposed to do? Not use what I had when I need to?
“…you should vanish. Before you do, let me remind you of who I am. I am [Transference] Demon Lord Bathin. I doubt you’ll ever forget about me now.”
My whole body was enveloped by a floating sensation.
It was a sensation that I was familiar with.
It’s Transfer! But I thought all attacks are forbidden during the [Evening Party]?
If one intended to harm a Demon Lord during the [Evening Party], their body should stop moving before the harm was done.
I tried to shake him off again, but due to that rule, I couldn’t put more strength, thus couldn’t let go.
Why is it that he could attack me, but I can’t even shake his hand off!? Wait, don’t tell me that Transfers, even [Transference], aren’t considered as attacks! Is this another of the Creator’s intentional loopholes!?
“I’ll use all of my strength to send you as far away as possible. Fufu, by the way, did you know that less than 20% of the world is habitable? Fufu. Who would have thought a small-fry like me, someone whose name isn’t even worth remembering, would be your downfall? Now, begone, Procell!”
In the next moment, [Transference] activated.
I desperately reached out my hand toward my monsters, but my hand couldn’t reach them.
Unable to do anything about it, I was Transferred away.
And now, all I saw was darkness.
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