Through Belial’s crystal, we watched the three knights fight.
Our initial strategy was to lure the enemies to the grassland, hold the line for as long as we could, and when we have gathered most, if not all of them, we would then make the Darkness Dragons bombard and annihilate them.
However, if it was just Belial’s monsters to hold the line, some of the enemies would break through before we have gathered enough. For that reason, I decided to deploy the three knights.
In order to identify the enemy Demon Lords, I was recording via a hidden camera what was being displayed in Belial’s crystal. If I showed the recordings to Marcho later, she should be able to tell to whom the monsters belonged to.
“How many Demon Lords are we facing here?”
“I think five, at the very least.”
Not only was there a high number of enemies, there were many kinds as well.
Blood Wolfman which were werewolf-type monsters;
Clay Dolls, which were mud dolls whose upper bodies were in a constant state of liquification.
Winged Snakes, which were frill-necked, large serpents.
Ice Giants, which were moving ice sculptures.
Small Tyranos, which were bipedal dinosaurs that had helmet-like carapaces.
Treants, which were walking trees.
Undead Sleip, which were decaying zombie sheep.
Heracles, which were beetles that had horns that could pierce through steel.
And there were many more.
As far as I could tell, there was no sense of uniformity among the enemy monsters. Not in terms of attributes or appearance. It wasn’t wise to come to a conclusion when there were so many other factors to consider, but I couldn’t help but feel there were more than two Demon Lords leading this army.
In all likelihood, each enemy Demon Lord must have placed monsters in this army so that all of them could gain exemption from the rule that’s protecting us new Demon Lords. But still, do they have to be so obvious?
Due to this, my suspicion on Belial grew stronger.
Moreover, he said that both sides had exhausted their elites. If there was only one or two enemy Demon Lords, that could just be the case, but each additional Demon Lord would make that harder and harder to believe.
Well, there will always be exceptions. Maybe his elites are that strong. Either way, that’s why I have my trap.
While watching the crystal, I was also observing Belial’s facial expressions.
From his point of view, the golems attacking the enemies were doing so while under my control.
If he was in league with the enemies, he should be sending a signal of some sort to the others soon.
And so, I waited. As an added insurance, I was holding onto the necklace that Rorono made.
It was only for one use, but it could instantly create a Transfer array. It was such a top-class item that only an alchemist of Rorono’s caliber could be able to reproduce such a thing.
I had used it in public before, but that was in the [Time] Demon Lord’s dungeon, so Belial should have no idea of its existence.
“So, these are the golems made by your [Monster of the Covenant]. They’re so amazing. They’re not even monsters, and yet… I think they can go toe to toe with A rank monsters. …no, even stronger than that! How frightening. Haha, considering it’s very much possible make more of them, it won’t even take a century before you become untouchable, Procell-sama.”
Technically speaking, the three knights weren’t made through Rorono’s abilities alone, but there was no need to tell him that. At least, for now.
“Perhaps, but it’ll still take a long time. Unlike normal golems, we can’t make one of these per day.”
“They’re amazing nevertheless. Oh, how I want one for myself. I’m so envious.”
Belial wasn’t doing anything; he was just watching his crystal.
I decided to continue doing the same.
Red Lance, or the evolved red knight, was on the screen.
Thanks to its evolution, it grew a size larger. Meanwhile, its main weapon, the piledriver, became two sizes larger.
Moreover, a prominent feature of this knight was the gigantic thrusters on its back. Through the utilization of both its strengthened twin-drive golem cores and the Avalon Jewel at the same time, the thrusters’ output was more than twice than before, which meant an improved propulsive power.
The Red Lance has just finished its preparations to use its new special attack. It repositioned its large right arm and then made that merge with the auxiliary parts in its legs. So, with the arm in front, the Red Lance itself became a gigantic lance.
The piledriver was now glowing bright red. Most of the generated magic power was being diverted toward the thrusters, and the rest was being used toward the reinforcement of its defenses.
And then, it disappeared. Closely following its disappearance was a loud sonic boom.
Left and right, enemy monsters were being turned into minced meat. In response, the heavily-armored enemies huddled together to form a wall.
As though affected by this, the Red Lance stopped.
In actuality, there was no problem at all. If anything, this was the intended outcome.
And so, a loud clinking sound was made…
In the next moment, boom.
It was the piledriver’s true function in action: making a large amount of magic power explode, resulting in the launching of the metallic stake.
The attack just now, as powerful as it was, was no simple physical attack; damage was also done up to the atomic level by the generated shockwave. In fact, even the very earth was gouged by the said shockwave.
Obviously, because such an attack of this level required massive amounts of magic power, the red knight before it evolved wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. It was only because magic power was stored in the Avalon Jewel and then released instantly that the Red Lance was just barely able to do it.
“Wow, Procell-sama, that golem of yours make all the enemies look like they’re made of paper! What a powerful golem!”
“Yes, thanks for the praise. The other two look like they’re doing well too.”
“That black golem with four arms who’s slicing and shooting all that it comes near with, yeah. But the white one, I don’t seem to see it…”
Just as Belial said, the Black Armor was doing quite the decimation with its four arms. Two of those arms held 2 of Rorono’s latest heavy machineguns while the other two arms held beautiful single-edged swords.
At first glance, there was nothing special about the Black Armor’s fighting style. Upon closer inspection though, the strangeness in it becomes apparent: the Black Armor had no wasted movements. Each slice of the sword and each bullet had a purpose. It was able to make the possible moves largely thanks to its amazing artificial brain and sensors, which were outstanding even among the knights. That allowed it to receive and process information quickly and accurately.
As though that wasn’t enough, it was also able to share information with the other two knights. This allowed the Black Armor to not only make the other two do more efficient movements, but also do combination attacks with each other. Due to this, it wasn’t an exaggeration to call it the leader unit.
Now, as for the last knight, the White Bow, the reason it wasn’t visible on the crystal was quite simple: it was attacking the enemies from a height of two thousand meters above the ground. At such a height, even flying monsters couldn’t reach it. And because there was no need to worry about defense, it could convert all the extra magic power to increase its attack power.
Not that it needed it this time due to the enemies only being small fries. So, it used it to fire magic projectiles continuously instead, which in the process didn’t use up any of its regular ammunitions. By the way, thanks to its evolution, it was now able to fire regular ammunition, magic projectiles, and combinations of both.
The White Bow was capable of hitting its targets just fine even from such a distance, but the data link with the Black Armor improved its accuracy even more.
“Ahahaha, wow, amazing! More than 200 monsters, gone, just like that.”
“Yeah, but like this, there’s no need to bring the Darkness Dragons, is there? Never mind gathering and containing the enemies, the three knights themselves are going to wipe all the enemies out.”
According to what we saw in the crystal, there should be about 300 enemy monsters. About 200 of which have entered the Grassland area, but there were now only a few of them left.
Which wasn’t surprising at all.
After all, no C rank monster could ever hope of defeating the three knights.
The three knights were having such an easy time that they didn’t even need to use their [Burst Drive].
Back when the three knights haven’t evolved yet, [Burst Drive] put significant stress on their cores. That meant that the Burst Drive could only be used for a short time and that the cores performed way lower than normal afterward.
Now though, they could use their [Burst Drive] for a longer period of time. There was still a limit, but thanks to their highly advanced artificial brains, they could correctly judge when to stop it, thus allowing them to still function after.
“Procell-sama, look, the enemies are pulling back from the Grassland and using Transfer to escape! We-we’ve won! Ahh, I’m so glad I have you as an ally. I won’t forget about this fight for the rest of my life, I promise you.”
Belial said so with a huge grin on his face.
…well, he still hasn’t done anything against me, I guess.
“Belial, once there are almost no more enemy monsters remaining, send some of your monsters to destroy those Transfer arrays. It’s possible that the enemy side would come back with reinforcements, so until we’re sure it’s over, I’ll stay in your dungeon.”
“Wow, Procell-sama, you’re completely vigilant. Alright, I’ll make someone go as soon as possible.”
Belial then relayed the instructions to his monsters.
“Also, I’d like to contact Avalon. Where can I make a Transfer array?”
“Oh, just make one here then.”
“…are you serious?”
“Of course. You’re Procell-sama, after all!”
Letting another Demon Lord make a Transfer array in one’s crystal room was preposterous. I for one wouldn’t let even Stolas do that.
That said, if he was allowing me, I wasn’t going to complain.
And so, Tiro made the array. After a while, an Abyss Howl arrived from the other side. This one wore a collar that had a blue gem in it. When I grabbed the gem and then opened my hand, an image of Duke was projected into the air.
<<My lord, here is my report. Just as you have predicted, several Demon Lords have sent their troops to attack Avalon. There are many that possess a tremendous amount of magic power. Including those monsters—which we are assuming to be A rank monsters—to lead the charge, there are over a thousand enemy monsters.>>
If I brought along my main force and left Avalon defenseless, and if they were then allowed to attack me, it was only natural they would do so before I and my forces come back.
“Oh no, is that because of me!? Quickly, Procell-sama, you must return at once. Don’t worry about us anymore, we’ll be fine.”
Belial spoke with a voice that seemed truly concerned, one which made it hard to imagine he was planning anything against me.
“It’s fine; everything’s under control. We have expected as much, so we’ve made the necessary precautions before departing.”
In order to protect the citizens of Avalon, we spread the warning that a large group of monsters were approaching the city, closed the outer walls, prohibited exit, and then moved the city floor via [Floor Swap] somewhere deep in my dungeon.
To make it more believable, we placed the expendable among the undead raised by Duke’s [Enhanced Resurrection] near the outer walls, and then make the Mithril Golems attack them later on.
As long as we could prevent the citizens from going beyond the outer wall, they would remain unaware of the fact that they weren’t above ground anymore.
Meanwhile, in place of the city floor was a dungeon floor designed by the Dwarf Smiths to stall for an absurd amount of time. It wouldn’t take down as much enemies as placing golems with heavy machineguns in narrow, straight path, but its stalling capabilities was beyond compare. So much so that if we returned now, it should still be stalling the enemies by the time we arrive.
I had complete trust with the subordinates I left to defend, but just in case, Marcho and ten of her best monsters who were in her [Storage] were also on standby in Avalon.
“But didn’t he say there’s over a thousand monsters!?”
“Belial, calm down. There’s no need to panic. Avalon’s safe.”
I have known Duke for a long time. I could tell the general situation just from the look on his face.
And in the message just now, there was no trace of worry on his facial expressions. I took that to mean that nothing outside of our expectations has happened.
This blue gem was only a playback device. By itself, it had no capabilities of sending a message. So, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t ask for what happened next. Thankfully, Duke recorded another message.
<<My lord, just like you’ve instructed, we planned to simply observe until the enemies have broken through the first floor. However, 15 minutes after they began their attack… all enemy monsters vanished. Immediately afterward, several high-rank monsters including myself heard a voice from someone proclaiming they were the Creator. It said ‘as my punishment to the naughty children who chose to break the rules, I am confiscating all the monsters they used in the transgression. That is all.’ As of the moment, we see no signs of enemy reinforcements. Also, thanks to my lord’s defense floor, there is zero damage on our side. Moreover, we were able to verify the usefulness of the defense floor.>>
This is the fate of those who violate the rule protecting us new Demon Lords?
I expected the punishment to be harsh, but not to the point that all dispatched monsters would be confiscated.
As for why I was still being protected by the rule, it was simply because the three knights were not under my control. In other words, I didn’t attack the Demon Lords that were attacking Belial.
That didn’t mean I transferred the right of control of the three knights to anyone though.
If one had the right of control over a monster or golem, there would be a link between the two parties. It was subtle, but if someone was sensitive enough to the flow of magic power, they would feel the magic power flowing between the owner and the one under control.
If I gave the right of control of the knights to anyone and Belial sensed magic power that didn’t belong to me or Rorono, he would grow suspicious.
Moreover, normal golems were nothing but dolls that move according to their master’s commands. So, the very idea of a golem not having a master was totally inconceivable.
Using these two points together, I was able to set my trap.
If Belial was an enemy and he wanted harm done to me, he should fall right into my trap. There should be no way he could hide his frustration at this turn of events.
And so, I looked at his face.
Belial was smiling. He looked in pain, but he was smiling nonetheless.
His smile seemed to suggest he was genuinely happy at hearing Duke’s report.
That expression lasted for one short moment, and was gone the next. He returned to his usual self, only this time he seemed to be panicking.
I must know what that expression meant.
My intuition was telling me that Belial wasn’t a complete enemy, but he also wasn’t completely a friend.
He then asked why the enemy Demon Lords were still being punished despite the knights attacking their other monsters.
I proceeded to tell him while trying to get a look at the true face under his mask.
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