I had underestimated the aftereffects of [Awakening], and thus collapsed right in front of Rorono.
Because of that…
“Oto-san, this meat, so delicious”
“Father, stroke my head more”
Because of that, my arms became the body pillows of my 2 sleeping girls.
To give a bit more explanation, until I was better, Kuina and Rorono were to keep a real close watch on me to make sure I would abstain from working.
Not that I was complaining.
Besides, I’m sure I’ll be fine enough to work by tomorrow. Hopefully, even Marcho’s going to see that when she comes tomorrow. For now, I should get some shut eye myself. As they say, rest is the shortcut to recovery.
I opened my eyes.
Just like before, Kuina and Rorono were still clinging tightly to my arms.
Well, I can’t go to work while they’re like this. I guess I should just go back to sleep and try again later.
I thought so, but then…
The door opened, and a brown-skinned woman with white wolf tail and ears entered.
It was Marcho. And just behind her was Aura.
“I was so worried that I did everything to make time for a visit, yet here you are, casually flirting. Aren’t you healthier than ever, Lolicell?”
“Marcho, welcome. Thank you for coming.”
[Beast] Demon Lord Marchosias was my guardian Demon Lord, but through [Rebirth], the power I received from the Creator, she became my monster.
“Lolicell will always be Lolicell, I guess.”
“Can you stop with the Lolicell? There’s nothing wrong going on here. They said they wanted to make sure I was resting, and it’s just that the best way to do that is by always being by my side.”
Ever since the beginning, Marcho has been calling me Lolicell, even though I was absolutely not a lolicon.
“Sure, whatever you say. Anyway, you sure are reckless, aren’t you? You saw firsthand how [Awakening] almost was the death of me, and yet you still did such an absurd thing.”
Due to the schemes of the [Black] Demon Lord, several Demon Lords attacked Marcho. To defend herself and her dungeon, Marcho used [Awakening] several times. For that though, her lifespan got even shorter. Actually, she was in the brink of vanishing when I offered and she accepted the power of [Rebirth].
“I thought that as long as I limited the use to once per day, it would be fine if I used it for a long time.”
“Oh, Procell, you’re too naïve. Unless your soul’s in perfect condition, you shouldn’t use [Awakening]. It varies from Demon Lord to Demon Lord, but on average, you should limit its usage to once per month. Even in times of emergencies, you should try to use it only once every three days. …just remember, [Awakening] is a double-edged sword.”
So that’s the span of time for the safe use of [Awakening]. But since it varies from Demon Lord to Demon Lord, maybe the downtime’s much shorter for me…?
“Since Aura can see the state of one’s soul, let her check yours every morning. Unless she says your soul’s in perfect condition, avoid using [Awakening]. You don’t have a problem with that, do you?”
“Well, I’ll only have to refrain from using it for a few days; it’s not like it’s forever. So, yeah, I agree with what you said.”
I planned to exercise more caution from now on, but I was still going to use [Awakening] as much as I could. As soon as Aura has determined the state of my soul was good enough, I would use it.
After all, gathering more Avalon Jewel was very important for Avalon at the moment.
“Very well, as we have agreed upon, I am going to do a medical examination every morning. By the way, master, the state of your soul today is absolutely awful. It’s all battered.”
“Understood. I’ll do whatever you say is good. I mean, even I don’t want to die, after all.”
If I died, that would mean my girls would be left all alone. For that reason, I absolutely could not die.
“Seeing how easy things got settled, I guess there wasn’t any point for me to come here, was there?”
“I disagree, Marcho-sama. Just you stating that [Awakening] should only be used when the Demon Lord’s soul is in perfect condition is a big deal already. Thanks for the help.”
“You’re such a good girl, Aura. Well, the two sleeping over there are too. Procell’s really blessed to have you girls as his [Monsters of the Covenant]. There are those who would trick or even cause the death of their Demon Lords, but you girls, you’re content with just being near him. But before I get totally sidetracked, how battered is his soul right now? Will even standing up or walking be too much for him?”
“Not at all. Thanks to my golden apple potion, he shouldn’t have any problems in doing simple, everyday tasks. That being said, using any Demon Lord powers, including his [Creation], is completely prohibited.”
If I was prohibited from using all of my Demon Lord powers, then even the testing of the monster that was two ranks below Raphael would have to be postponed.
“There you have it, Procell. Be sure to listen to what she says, okay? But if he doesn’t, contact me, Aura. I’ll come here right away to knock some sense into him.”
“Don’t you trust me?”
“I do, but it’s outweighed by my worry for you. I mean, you’re usually all calm and prudent, but once in a while, you do these crazy things!”
I had no comeback.
“Moving on, well, since I came all the way here, and since Aura said it was fine for you to do some light activities, let’s go on a date.”
“Sure. Let’s go grab breakfast first though.”
For today at least, I should take it easy.
There shouldn’t be any pressing matters to attend to anyways. Moreover, I felt a bit indebted to her for coming all this way despite her busy schedule.
But above all reasons, I just wanted to go on a date with her.
After changing my clothes, as well as after eating breakfast with Marcho, the two of us went to the city.
Kuina and Rorono wanted me to stay in bed, but after Aura explained that there was nothing to worry about as long as I followed her instruction to not use [Creation] or any of my Demon Lord Powers, the two conceded.
“As ever, your dungeon’s so bustling.”
“Yeah, but we’re just getting started.”
The selling of the units in the newly completed residential district was going well.
All the units in the apartment buildings had already been sold to the merchants who would then sell each unit to ordinary citizens. Additionally, about half of the orthodox houses had been sold to the public.
As for the empty plots of land, they were selling quite well too, which in turn meant great business for the carpenters.
A lot of the buyers of these properties were from outside the city. In other words, the number of Avalon’s citizens should grow quite soon.
If Avalon had more citizens, I would have more emotions to feed on as well as DP, which then translated to me growing ever more powerful.
“You know, when I first heard you were going to build a city, I honestly thought it would fail. I mean, there have been a bunch of other Demon Lords that have tried to do the same, but most of them have failed. It’s just you and [Black] that have succeeded.”
Just because one built a city, that didn’t automatically mean the humans would come and gather.
Having some financial power would help, but having something unique to the city to attract the humans was much, much more important. Without some means or monster to make such a thing, a city was out of the question. I had Rorono and Aura, but other Demon Lords wouldn’t be so lucky.
“Well then, let me give you a taste of Avalon’s charms with this date. Is there anywhere in particular you’d like to go to?”
“Let’s see. I didn’t get to play much the last time, so how about the casino? I’ll leave it up to you where to go next after that.”
“Okay. To the casino, then.”
We had improved the casino quite a bit since the last time she was there. Hopefully, she’d like it even more.
After a while of walking while chatting idly, we arrived at the casino.
It seemed like it was busy since it opened.
Upon arrival, we ran into someone I knew. That someone was being carried out by two bunny-eared Mythological Foxes.
“Dear guest, please know that you are hereby banned from this establishment.”
“Please don’t ever come back here.”
“Whaaaaat? But I wasn’t cheating or anything. …you know”
Only one of my monsters talked in such a peculiar manner: Fallen Angel Raphael.
“…what the heck did you do to be banned, Raph?”
Ahh, my head hurts already.
In our casino, we try to refrain from giving out bans as much as possible. So, to be banned, she must have done something that truly crossed the line.
“Your majesty, they’re so awful. I was just playing normally, and then I won, and won, and kept on winning. But then, they stopped me from playing, gave me my winnings so far, and told me to never come again.”
With tears flowing, Raph clung onto me.
“Wait, how much did you win?”
“Hmm, this much”
When Raph showed how much she had won, my headache grew worse.
It was as much as one week of revenue for the casino, if not more.
It wasn’t a surprise then for her to be banned. If they allowed her to play as she was, the casino would be cleaned out in no time.
“How did you manage to win this much?”
Our casino employed first-rate dealers whose senses were extremely sharp. For those who were going to cheat via magic, we installed magic power sensors that were developed by Rorono.
Of course, other measures were also in place to make sure that stupidly big wins didn’t happen often.
“I just played normally? I started playing some card games and betting on the dragon races. I won in those and got more money. I then played the roulette. It said I could win 36 times of what I bet, so I bet all that I’ve won. And then, I won, and did it again, and again, and again!”
So, it was just luck?
As to be expected of the S+ Luck of an S rank monster, it was nothing to scoff at.
“Owww, but now, my relaxation spot’s gone…”
Raph looked dejected.
I wanted to help her out, but it would be disastrous for the casino if I let her to continue to roam free there.
But then again, I didn’t want to snatch away what my monster enjoyed doing.
“If you promise to only play at the low-rate slots and the dragon races, and also to bet a maximum of 3 chips at a time, I’ll convince them to let you back in.”
“I promise! Oh, your majesty, I so love you!”
In her excitement, Raph hugged me.
For someone of her short stature, she had a rather impressive set. Try as I might, my awareness kept being pulled toward the pressure they gave.
“Ohh, I see, Lolicell made a new girl. And wow, despite being Lolicell, you have that kind of taste as well, hmm”
“I keep telling you, please stop it with the Lolicell stuff.”
Marcho said so with a look of disdain, but I decided to focus first on Raph’s problems.
So long as she abided by my conditions, there shouldn’t be any significant issues.
And so, after freeing myself from Raph’s embrace, I talked to someone in charge and explained the new arrangement.
When I informed her that it was now all settled, Raph thanked me again and then excitedly returned to the casino.
Glad to know she can enjoy her off hours as much as she wants again.
“Say, what was that slots thing you mentioned earlier? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that game before. It sounds fun.”
“I think it’s better to show it to you first.”
I said so and then led her by the hand toward Avalon’s newest showpiece.
The place was filled with a bizarre zeal.
The guests were staring fixedly at the multiple cabinets that were installed.
Music was playing in background, accompanied by the sound of the reels continuously spinning.
“So, I win if three of the same symbol lines up?”
“Basically, yes. The number of chips you win depends on the kind of symbol that lines up. For example: if three apples appear in a line, you win 30 times of what you bet; the jewels give 100 times; and the golden apples give out 300 times the bet.”
We had three kinds of slot machines. The main difference of each kind was the amount a guest would bet.
The most expensive one required a chip that was worth 1 gold coin. For reference, a gold coin was enough to sustain an average household for a whole month. Because of that, it was almost just the truly rich who would bet on these machines without any hesitation.
On the other hand, because almost anyone could afford to play with the cheapest machines, there were a wide variety of people who wanted to use it.
Slots were very convenient.
Our casino was a huge success. So much so that a lot of people had to wait to get a chance to enter. So, to continue growing, we tried to solve the issue time and time again. No matter what we tried though, the thing that was holding us back the most was the number of our first-rate dealers. Sadly, getting more of them was quite difficult.
On the other hand, slots could entertain a large number of people without the need of a dealer, first-rate or otherwise.
When I came up with the idea of using slot machines, I asked the Dwarf Smiths to develop them, but what they made was beyond what even I imagined.
Since we didn’t use electricity, at least not in the casino, the slots were powered by golem cores. One golem core powered about ten cabinets. As such, these cabinets could be technically called a golem.
Marcho went and exchanged her money for some chips.
And then, without any sign of hesitation, she headed toward the most expensive cabinets.
“Are you sure? If you get unlucky, you could lose 300 gold coins in just an hour.”
That amount could sustain an average household for two to three years.
“It’s fine; I’ve saved a lot of the human beings’ money. Besides, it’s no fun if the risk is too small.”
While smiling, Marcho watched as the reels turned.
Could it be that she’s the type to be ruined by gambling?
After the slot machines, we enjoyed the races, played some card games, and then relaxed while drinking at a bar. When we had enough, we exited the casino.
On our way out, we bought some frog-shaped cakes.
Seeing Marcho, otherwise known as the big shot that was the [Beast] Demon Lord, the shopkeeper, Ronove, frog-jumped to the ceiling and hit his head.
And when Marcho said that the frog-shaped cakes were delicious, he repeatedly bowed his head.
“Yeah, that was fun! Oh, I got a good idea. Send some of those slots to my dungeon. I want my monsters to enjoy it too.”
“Sure thing. I’ll talk to the Dwarf Smiths about it. But are you sure though? Those things come in sets of ten, so they could take up quite the space.”
Marcho evidently liked the slot machines.
“Yeah, it’s fine. The more the better, in fact.”
Since there were still some space left, and since space was all the slot machines required, the Dwarf Smiths were still continuing to build more machines every day.
By the way, because the slot machines had a processing unit in the form of the golem cores, no amount of timing to stop the reels could help the player. Only luck mattered. Additionally, the golems cores were programed to pay out, over time, 90% of the machines’ earnings. That meant that there should be plenty of winners.
Talking like that, we wondered around the city without any particular goal in mind. If she sees something she likes though, I’m going to buy it for her as a present.
“Procell, I think you really get it now after this painful experience, but you shouldn’t underestimate [Awakening]’s negative effects on you too much. Like I’ve been saying, it’s a double-edged sword.”
“…yeah, I won’t anymore. The tears falling down from my daughter’s eyes are enough to make me learn my lesson. I don’t ever want to see that again.”
“Good. Don’t forget that feeling. Now, if you’ll also let Aura take a look at you every day, I’d be relieved.”
A monster that could care for one’s well-being, even their soul’s, was exceedingly rare. I definitely owe that girl.
“Moving on, my intelligence network suspects that your enemies will act soon. Have you prepared yourselves?”
“Certainly. We’re ready for them anytime.”
Before my present condition, I had been continuously using [Creation] to produce the rare metals that were necessary to make high-powered explosives.
We had already regained the amount we had used during the Marcho-rescue campaign, including the weapon of mass destruction MOAB.
To be honest, I wanted to use [Create] on the MOAB to make it evolve just like I did back then, but that would have to wait until I have recovered.
Regardless, with the number of explosives we had, we could take on even an entire country.
“That’s the right attitude. You can’t afford to get careless when your next enemies will try and try until they finally take you down. On that note, you might be planning to not rely on my powers again, but at least this time, let me lend a hand. The odds are too stacked against you.”
At the start of each of my [War] ever since she became my monster, a choice whether to join or not was presented to her.
However, each time, I had asked her to refuse.
I had two reasons:
The first was so that we could gain experience. Having her babysit us would hinder us from gaining that valuable experience.
The second was so that we could keep the fact that she was now under my control a secret for a bit longer. Marcho’s existence as my monster was a trump card in itself. Just the surprise of her appearing in the white space beside me was enough to turn the table against enemies that could definitely kill me. Because of that, she wasn’t really a card to be played against someone of the [Pig] Demon Lord’s caliber.
“Marcho, about that. Sorry, but I’d like you to refuse the option of joining this time as well. You see…”
I then explained my plan to her.
I wouldn’t be dependent on her, but I also wouldn’t mind some help from her.
“Ohh. Interesting. Okay, I approve of that. You’re acting more and more like a Demon Lord, you know.”
“Thanks for understanding. For the next [War], it isn’t just [Wind] Demon Lord Stolas that’s going to lend me a hand, but also [Despair] Demon Lord Belial. For that reason, your role is truly vital.”
I must know whether Belial’s a real friend or not.
“Okay, that’s it for the serious talks. Let’s go to an inn right away. Your daughters are going to be back home around this time, right? Unless, of course, you get your kick out of them watching?”
“How in the hell could that ever be the case?!”
As usual, she was the one who had the upper hand.
And so, we went to an inn and made love.
The enemy side is on the move, huh? Even if my soul is still healing, I’m ready for them.
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