To save Belial, I made ten Darkness Dragons equip themselves with as much high-powered explosives as they could reasonably carry. Thanks to Duke overseeing them, the Darkness Dragons became ready almost immediately and were now in my [Storage].
They were part of my war potential to save Belial, but they would also serve as a way to tell whether Belial had ill intent toward me or not.
If he had any intention to screw us over, this fight would reveal his true nature.
…No, I’m going to make sure this gets settled once and for all.
I wanted to trust Belial.
However, I was of the opinion that “trusting” and “not doubting” were completely different things.
Blindly trusting someone was akin to the forfeiture of all thoughts.
Trust should be result of doubting someone over and over until there was nothing else to doubt.
Thus, I made countermeasures under the assumption that Belial was an enemy.
And one of the possible scenarios I expected was: Belial being attacked by the anti-Procell alliance, so I go help him, but then lose the protection given to me by the one-year-grace period; now free to attack me, the enemies do so and keep me busy long enough for their other troops to crush the less-manned Avalon.
“Show me I can trust you, Belial”
I whispered so to myself while brushing the heads of Darkness Dragons that weren’t going in my [Storage].
My preparations were done. Once my monsters were done with theirs and have come here, we were going to depart.
“Oto-san, we’re all ready now!”
“Me too, master”
Accompanying me this time were Kuina, Aura, and Tiro.
Tiro was going to let us slip through the other dimension.
Rorono came with them, but she was not coming with us to Belial’s dungeon. Her purpose in coming was to deliver our trap.
“Master, I’ve brought the evolved three knights.”
The three knights, Rorono’s greatest masterpiece, were made to evolve by my [Create] and were now stronger than ever.
An Avalon-Ritter was comparable to an A rank monster, and to a low-end S rank monster for the short while that [Burst Drive] could be activated.
Meanwhile, because the three knights were basically enhanced and specialized Avalon-Ritters, so their power levels were obviously higher than the latter. And now that they were made to evolve, their standard mode was comparable to an Avalon-Ritter in Burst Drive mode, while their Burst their mode now was comparable to a high-end S rank monster.
Just these three knights should be enough to wipe out the troops of an average Demon Lord.
Moreover, they should prove to be a good trap for Belial and the others.
“Rorono, sorry for the sudden request. I’ll be taking Kuina, Aura, Tiro this time, but the ones I’ll be relying on this time would be the three knights.”
“Mhm, I understand. I have adjusted them according to what you said, so they should have no problem accomplishing your goals. You have given the knights their names, so it is their pleasure to be used as you see fit.”
At Rorono’s request, I named the three knights.
The red knight which had heavy armor, insane propulsive power, and firepower was named Rote Lanze.
The white knight which had great flight capabilities, light armor, and long-range shooting capabilities was named Weiss Bogen.
The black knight which had immense versatility, maneuverability, and high-performance artificial brain was named Schwarz Panzer.
The red lance, the white bow, and the black armor. Each one’s name was a combination of their assigned color and a type of equipment.
Normal Avalon-Ritters were transported by using containers that were then carried by the Darkness Dragons.
Since the white knight, or Weiss Bogen as I should get accustomed to calling it, could fly faster than even the Darkness Dragons, it was perfectly fine to let travel by itself. As for the other two, they could simply be carried by it. In other words, no matter the battlefield, the three knights could get there in no time.
“Alright, let’s go.”
“I’m ready whenever.”
Because I was expecting an attack on Avalon while we were fighting in Belial’s dungeon, there was just no way that Duke, who was in charge while I was gone, as well as Ruhe, who was vital in protecting Avalon from attacks in the other dimension, could go with us.
The only ones that were coming with me were Kuina, Aura, Tiro, the three knights, and a few Darkness Dragons. With this much protection with me, killing me was nigh impossible.
Plus, depending on the situation, I could ask Tiro to make a Transfer array in Belial’s dungeon. If that happens, that new array would make a pair with the one Tiro had made beforehand in Avalon. In other words, we could then almost freely switch troops around.
The Darkness Dragon that would carry us started to flap its wings.
Meanwhile, the white knight revved itself up. As a result, the red glow of the Avalon Jewel leaked from the gaps of its armor.
While the Avalon Jewel was part of its armor, it also served as the white knight’s secondary power source. Thanks to that, its power output was incomparable to any golem before. Combining that and the fact that the Avalon Jewel had only a quarter of iron’s specific gravity—thus making it extremely light for its size—it was no surprise that it flew faster than the Darkness Dragons, even while the white knight was carrying the other two knights.
The moment we took off, Rorono shouted something.
“Father, you must come back safely!”
“Yeah, it’s a promise. No matter what, I’ll come back to Avalon!”
I shouted that back to her.
We were following behind the white bird that delivered Belial’s letter, and before long, Rorono was no longer visible.
It has been approximately two hours since we took off.
At long last, we have finally arrived at Belial’s dungeon.
It was a tower-type dungeon where adventurers go up and up.
There was no one outside and when we entered the first dungeon room, there were only a few corpses that were slowly turning into blue particles. We didn’t see anyone alive, leading me to think that the battlefield has moved on somewhere much deeper in Belial’s dungeon.
We could attack them from behind, but I think we should meet with Belial first.
When I was thinking of that, a female demon-type monster appeared before us via Transfer.
“Greetings. I am a Demi Lilith. My master is expecting you. Let me take you to him right away.”
Understandably, they were keeping watch of dungeon from the crystal room. When they noticed our arrival, they sent someone to greet us right away.
When I agreed to the Demi Lilith’s proposal, she Transferred us to Belial’s side.
The place we were sent to was Belial’s crystal room.
If he was a traitor, this place, the heart of his dungeon, was not the best place to bring me to, to say the least. Because of that, I trusted him a little bit more. For now.
“Procell-sama! Over here! Ahh, I so believed that you who had such a kind heart as well as a strong sense of justice would come right away to the aid of a friend, no matter what I got myself into. Oh, I see you’ve even brought two of your [Monsters of the Covenant] with you. Not only them but also such a gallant S rank hound as well as these splendid golems. It vexes me to be unable to find the words to express this joy I am feeling at your arrival!”
“…I’m glad we’ve made you happy, but now isn’t really the time for idle chat.”
As we were talking, enemy forces were making their way through his dungeon.
“Yes, of course. Let’s get down to business. Right now, I am stalling the invaders using the hell trap rooms I’ve prepared just for emergencies like this, and also [Floor Swap] to reuse those rooms.”
I had heard of such tactic from Marcho.
According to her, once Demon Lords have lived long enough, DP then begins to start going unspent. Not saved up, just not spent for anything.
If they choose to spend those DP to add new monsters to their already strong enough war potential, they would then have to find enough space to house those new monsters. Oftentimes, they would need to buy new dungeon rooms and dungeon floors, which were quite costly. This could easily get out of hand if they had multiple Maelstroms in place.
An alternative that had better cost-to-performance from a defense standpoint would be to buy trap-only rooms. In times of dire need, these rooms could be used to intercept the enemies via [Floor Swap], replenished after the enemies were gone, and then the cycle begins anew. In addition to stalling, this method could shave off some of the enemy’s numbers without losing or even tiring any of their own monsters.
Sure, [Floor Swap] couldn’t be used while there was a living being that didn’t belong to the Demon Lord’s army in the room, but it was still plenty useful.
“I think I understand the situation. I trust then that you have been able to keep your monster’s injuries to a minimum?”
“Actually, no. I’ve lost a pretty considerable number of my monsters during the start of the attack. After that though, we’ve used the hell trap rooms and managed to keep our casualties low. As long as I have DP, I can rearm the traps over and over again. …but the method itself has limits and it’s approaching those limits soon. I’ll be forced to use my monsters as a wall again.”
“What’s the room after the hell trap rooms?”
“…without changing it, it’s an open grassland that serves as a resting area for my monsters.”
Belial changed what his crystal was displaying to the open grassland.
Just like he said, it was open and lush. There were no obstacles or ceilings.
Great. The Darkness Dragons could use their full potential here.
“Alright, let’s counterattack there. Place monsters with high defensive capabilities there to gather them up. Once they’ve all gathered, we’ll wipe them out in one blow with the ten Darkness Dragons I’ve brought. You might have already heard of them when you checked on me, but these dragons can do an attack that resembles very powerful explosion magic.”
“Of course, I’ve heard of them. It’s one of your sure-win tactics, after all. If all goes according to plan, the tide will change! So, please, make it happen.”
Belial said so and then briskly bowed his head.
“Yes, but this time, I’ll transfer the ownership of the ten Darkness Dragons over to you. Until it’s too late for them to do anything, we don’t want the enemies to know we’re going to use the Darkness Dragons’ attack. So, my plan is to have you who can freely Transfer in your dungeon release them from your storage when we can take out the greatest number of the enemies in the grassland.”
“But rather than me doing it, I think it’ll be better to have you do it. We can just make one my monsters use Transfer to move you around.”
“No, it’s almost a given fact at this point that most Demon Lords know of this tactic of mine. As soon as they see me, they’ll know what’s up, and either they escape or fortify their defenses. If it’s you though, even if you take the dragons out of your [Storage], they won’t think anything of it. Even if they do, it’ll take them a couple of seconds. Those few seconds are crucial.”
What I said made sense, but it was all an excuse.
My actual reason for wanting to hand over the dragons was so that their bombardment wouldn’t count as my attack. As long as I don’t attack the older Demon Lords, the special rule would still protect me.
A similar move was done to me during my [War] with [Steel], [Evil], and [Viscosity]. The Creator has since prohibited all older Demon Lords from lending us monsters without a fair compensation, but the reverse wasn’t in effect. At least, not yet.
“It’s certainly as you say. Then, I hereby gladly accept. Of course, once this whole mess is finished, I’ll give them back to you. Oooh, what an honor it is to command Procell-sama’s monsters.”
During that whole exchange, I paid close attention to Belial’s reaction. If his aim was to harm me, there was a high likelihood that he would be irritated at having to deviate from his initial plan.
I observed no noteworthy change in his facial expressions though.
After I gave him the ownership of the dragons, he then proceeded to put them into his [Storage].
Like that, we were ready.
Meanwhile, his crystal was displaying that more and more enemy monsters have managed to arrive in the grassland.
Before long, the enemy monsters fought with Belial’s defense-focused monsters.
…wait, there’s something strange with this scene.
There were a lot of enemy monsters, but most of them were just of C rank.
C rank monsters could be produced via [Maelstroms], so even if a Demon Lord lost a lot of them, it wasn’t the end of the world.
In a serious attempt to conquer another’s dungeon, it was quite normal to see C rank monsters comprise the majority of one’s war potential. Even so, there should be a few A rank monsters who would act as commanders or as units to take down enemy elites.
A war potential comprised solely of C rank monsters and below was nothing more than a rabble.
“Oh no, Procell-sama, my monsters can’t hold the line much longer!”
Belial shouted so.
His monsters were starting to be pushed back.
Speaking of his monsters, about ten of them were of B rank while the rest was of C and D rank.
“You’re not deploying your A rank monsters?”
“I had deployed them earlier, but they sustained heavy injuries and are now recuperating.”
“How about the enemies? Is that also the reason why they only have C rank monsters?”
“Yes, exactly. The fighting in the beginning was extremely intense. The result is that both sides’ elites were now out of the fight.”
I had no way of verifying whether that story was the truth or not.
Well, this much was within expectation. That’s why I prepared something besides the Darkness Dragons. Time to use the real trap.
“I see. Let’s use my three knights, then. No matter how many C rank monsters there are, they won’t be a match for my knights. Seeing them will give away that I’m here to support, but it can’t be helped now.”
Upon hearing me, my three knights revved themselves up. It seemed like they were excited for their first battle ever since they evolved.
Their artificial intelligence has evolved to the point that they could feel real emotions. In fact, it was thanks to that that they could make use of the Avalon Jewel’s feature of producing magic power based on emotions. They were no longer just tools; they were living beings now.
“I’m really, really sorry. And thank you, thank you so much, Procell-sama. I promise, I’ll repay you someday for all this. I promise! Now, I’ll be sending the three knights to the frontline.”
Belial then motioned to the Demi Lilith who then Transferred the knights.
As soon as they arrived, they rampaged.
As expected, the C rank monsters couldn’t do anything against them. It was a genocide.
Like this, the Darkness Dragons might not even get their chance.
From Belial’s point of view, it should look like I had finally attacked the anti-Procell alliance.
Ok, let’s see what your next move is.
If he was in some way in league with the enemy, it was highly likely that he would make take action now.
That said, I sincerely hoped that the trap I prepared was for naught.
Such were my thoughts while watching the three knights run wild.
TL note: I’ll be using Red Lance, White Bow, and Black Armor for the knights. It seems Procell will continue referring to them with those German (I think) terms, but I’m choosing not to. Thanks for understanding.
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