The day after we won against the [Pig] Demon Lord and held a party to celebrate the said victory, a visitor came by. He was [Despair] Demon Lord Belial. Supposedly, he wanted us to form an alliance.
I highly appreciated the prospect of an alliance.
Now more than ever, fighting alone had its limits. Unless I made use of alliances myself, it would be very difficult if not impossible to win against enemies that allied themselves with others. If, in the previous [War], I fought alone against three Demon Lords in the same level as the [Pig] Demon Lord, I might have lost.
I only had a small circle of friends though, so even if I always wanted an ally, it was really hard. I would even consider finding one a windfall at this point.
That said, there was no reason to go into this meeting all enthusiastic. For all I knew, this could be trap.
To shed some light to the other party’s intentions, I decided to go ahead and meet them.
Apparently, the Ocean Singers guided [Despair] Demon Lord Belial to my estate and asked him to wait there.
Just to be safe, Ruhe and the Abyss Howls were standing by in the other dimension while the Avalon-Ritters were just outside of my estate.
Those were good calls. It showed we were cautiously interested. We wouldn’t drive him out without talking first, but we also weren’t so excited that we would be careless. Plus, in case something did happen during the meeting, we could deal with it right away.
I should praise them for this later.
“But Belial, huh? That’s an impressive name.”
I had no clue how powerful of a Demon Lord he was, but if I were to apply my knowledge of Solomon’s 72 demons on him, there was a high likelihood of him being a pretty special Demon Lord. The demon Belial was a king of hell. It was said that the demon Belial was very powerful even among the 72 demons.
But it didn’t seem like my knowledge of Solomon’s 72 demons applied to us Demon Lords.
[Time] Demon Lord Dantalian and [Dragon] Demon Lord Astaroth were supposed to be dukes, while [Beast] Demon Lord Marchosias was supposed to be just a marquis. And yet, they were the three strongest of Demon Lords.
Honestly though, whether it applied to us or not could go either way. The Creator was involved, so it was pretty hard to say that the two things were completely unrelated.
By the way, Procell was also the name of one of Solomon’s 72 demons. Procell was a demon that had the form of an angel. More accurately, he was a fallen angel. Upon being summoned, he gives the summoner knowledge about geometry and the other liberal sciences. He also excelled at finding hot springs.
He had exceedingly plain and peaceful abilities.
Maybe why I wanted to build a city was because I was given this name.
“Oto-san, you don’t have to make that serious face. It’s going to be alright, Kuina’s here! Even if that Demon Lord’s a scary guy, Kuina won’t let him hurt Oto-san!”
“Thank you. You’re right, I have nothing to worry about when you’re around. I have full faith on you, Kuina.”
There were hardly any monsters that could defeat Kuina. As such, I could calmly proceed with the meeting.
“But even so, I have to say he has some balls to go to another Demon Lord’s territory.”
“Yeah. Maybe he intends to declare [War]?”
It goes without saying that meeting with another Demon Lord had grave risks.
For that reason, unacquainted Demon Lords usually used indirect forms of communication like using monsters as intermediaries or like sending letters. However, if an indirect form of communication was used to declare [War], there was a need for both parties to agree first.
That wouldn’t be the case if the two parties met face to face. Just the simple act of a declaration of [War] by one side was necessary, making face-to-face meetings a more reliable way to declare [War].
Thankfully, that method couldn’t be abused to bully us new Demon Lords. Although we were free to [War] with anyone we wanted, a rule was in place to protect us from the older Demon Lords. That being said, there were ways to bypass this rule. For example, if the [Despair] Demon Lord had sneaked in one of his monsters into the monsters we had killed during the [War] against the [Pig] Demon Lord or even during the attack on Marcho, he would have enough of an excuse to attack me. This was actually the tactic used by the [Black] Demon Lord to have a reason to [War] against me.
“Well, if he does that, he’s not leaving Avalon alive.”
If a [War] was directly declared, the one that received the declaration could adjust when the [War] would take place. It could be held immediately or until three days later. Whenever it might be, the two sides wouldn’t be transported into the white space until that declared time arrives.
In other words, if the [Despair] Demon Lord did declare [War] on me, I had a window of time to kill him and thus end the [War] before it even began.
Of course, it would be all for naught if he escaped. [Transfer] would be especially helpful for him, but since he would first need to setup a Transfer array in order to use that outside of his own dungeon, we should be fine so long as we remain vigilant and not give him time to make one.
At any rate, I finally reached my estate.
Alright, let’s try to find out what [Despair] Demon Lord Belial’s true intentions are.
I headed to the reception room.
In there was a man. He looked young enough to be in the middle of his teens. Maybe it was because of his short stature, his frizzy, light brown hair, and his rather cute features, but he somewhat looked like a puppy.
His appearance wasn’t at all what one would expect upon hearing the name [Despair] Demon Lord Belial. It wasn’t what I expected, at least.
At the moment, he was enjoying the black tea as well as the cookies brought out by a Mythological Fox serving as a housekeeper.
“So delicious! This is the first I’ve ever tasted a cookie this delicious!! But the cookies aside, I never thought a housekeeper monster could look this cute! Amazing, so this is a maid, huh. Procell-sama’s quite naughty, isn’t he? Having such a beautiful, fox-eared girl attend to him and all that.”
“I-is that so?”
“Regardless, I’m impressed. I’ve heard Avalon was amazing, but if those sweets are anything to go by, I see now that even that’s an understatement. Later on, I should go to the casino. Also, go shopping, and then try the food at those stalls and restaurants, and then visit the hot spring. It’s impossible to do all those in one day, isn’t it? Guess, I should go stay at an inn then. Hey, hey, did you know? Did you know that because Avalon’s become famous even among Demon Lords, there are a good number of Demon Lords that have hidden their identities and stayed here?”
The Mythological Fox he was talking to was perplexed.
Meanwhile, a kind of female demon was silently staying close to Belial’s side. In contrast to her master, this demon seemed to be the calm and collected type.
Because she was an A rank monster that could level up, it was likely she was here as his guard.
…wait, wait, didn’t he nonchalantly say something really outrageous?
No matter how open and charming of a city Avalon was, it was quite ridiculous for there to be unfamiliar Demon Lords roaming about.
I mean, aren’t they afraid of me? They’re Demon Lords, so they should know what the risks are there in going to another Demon Lord’s dungeon. Aren’t they afraid of me??? Argh, this is making my head hurt.
In case an individual that seemed like a monster shows up in the city part of my dungeon, our plan to maintain public order was to use the High Elves for their wind barriers as well as their magic power perception, the Avalon-Ritters to fill the role of vanguards, and the Abyss Howls to support from the rear while also marking the intruder. Even if the intruder was a Demon Lord, we would still be able to respond immediately using this plan. And yet… Argh, this is making my head hurt.
Choosing to focus on the task at hand instead, I pulled myself together. First of all, a greeting.
“Sorry to have kept you waiting. I’m [Creation] Demon Lord Procell, the ruler of Avalon.”
As soon as I entered the room, I greeted him like that.
When I did, Belial immediately stood up, but then coughed because the cookie he was eating got stuck in his throat.
…what is this, a skit?
Looking at him as he was, I was dumbfounded.
“N-nice to meet you. I’m [Despair] Demon Lord Belial! Woah, it’s the real deal. It’s really Procell. Gah, I’m so happy. I’ve always wanted to meet you. Ah, a handshake! Please, will you do me the honor of shaking hands with me!?”
He said so in almost one breath and then offered his hand.
When I grabbed it, his other hand joined in. Like that, he shook our hands in an exaggerated manner.
“Wooah, I’m so happy. I’m never going to wash these hands again.”
“No, that would be unsanitary. Please wash them. Also, could you let go now?”
“Ah! Sorry. I was just so happy.”
Belial let go and took a few steps back.
No matter how I look at it, he’s just too restless.
“Please sit. Now, let’s talk, shall we?”
“Yes! Let’s talk about a lot. But I gotta say, I thought I wasn’t even going to make it pass the front door. Thank goodness.”
“I wouldn’t dare. Mythological Fox, could you please bring out some tea and snacks for Kuina and me? Actually, bring out some for Belial as well.”
“Right away, Procell-sama”
Surprisingly, Belial has already finished his cookies.
To come to an unfamiliar Demon Lord’s place and then wolf down the food the other party served, it seemed like Belial had quite a bold personality. That, or a reckless and foolish one.
It didn’t take long before the Mythological Fox returned with the tea and some roll cakes.
The moment his second set of snacks arrived, Belial jumped on it and immediately covered his mouth with the cake’s cream.
…and so did Kuina who was beside me.
I guess these two have the same mental age.
“Ahem. Well then, [Despair] Demon Lord Belial, to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?”
I had already heard beforehand that his intention was to form an alliance, but I still asked so that I could see his facial expressions and hear his tone while he answered. Hopefully, I could figure out his true intentions from those.
“Procell-sama, I admire you and I wish to fight alongside you! You’re only in your first year, yet you’re already making numerous legends. And recently, you’ve even crushed in a direct confrontation the [Pig] Demon Lord who could be considered the second strongest among the young Demon Lords! I’m excited to see how much stronger you’ll become, Procell-sama! I’m sure you’ll one day become the strongest Demon Lord. Just imagining myself to be there by side, I, I…”
He was fiercely excited.
He seemed to have realized it himself though, and then tried to calm down.
“But you’re older than me, aren’t you? Don’t you feel any reluctance in having someone younger than you take the leading role?”
“None whatsoever. Rather, because it’s you, I’m excited for what the future might hold for me. Besides, even though I’m already a little over a hundred years old, I still consider myself young like you, you know. One hundred years is nothing. So, with those in mind, I think I’m a rightful candidate to be added in your faction!”
He said so with a smile devoid of malice. I didn’t notice any, at least.
“I see. Let me think on it.”
This was tough.
Had he said something that seemed calculating and self-serving, I might have agreed to his proposition. Instead, he cited his reason for proposing this alliance to be his admiration of me. How am I supposed to decide based on that!?
“Uhm, Procell-sama, you don’t have to reach a conclusion today. I think I myself wouldn’t be able to give an immediate answer on such an important matter like this. I‘ll be happy to visit and ask as many times as it takes. Also, if it you think it’ll help you trust me, I would be happy to welcome you to my dungeon. I’ll entertain you to the best of my abilities!”
“…I’ll think about it.”
“Yes, please. Meanwhile, I’ll work hard on earning your trust. Also, here is a token of my admiration for you, Procell-sama.”
While saying that, he slipped a coin into my hand.
Of course, I immediately checked what it was.
“It’s my [Despair] medal. Well, an imitation of it. Look forward to receiving an original copy after we’ve formally formed an alliance. My medal’s an A rank medal, so even an imitation should prove useful.”
“Are you sure about this?”
The problem with giving away an imitation medal wasn’t so much as the DP cost to produce it, rather it was the fact that one was also giving away information about their original medals and about themselves.
And that wasn’t even taking my [Creation] medal into account. During a Synthesis using my medal, before choosing the monster, I could see data about all the possible monsters that could be born from the medals used. I not only knew what the medals did, I also knew the strengths and weaknesses of some of the monsters that could be born from it. Long story short, I had more information than normal and thus could make more potent countermeasures.
“Definitely. Let it be a sign of my good faith. Well then, I don’t want to overstay my welcome, so I’ll take my leave now.”
[Despair] Demon Lord Belial said so, smiled, and then stood up.
I was thankful that our meeting was going to end peacefully, but it was also completely anti-climactic.
“Thanks for your visit today.”
“The pleasure’s all mine. I look forward to seeing you again. Oh, also, if you want to contact me, perhaps for another meeting, just send a letter to this human city and it’ll reach me.”
“I see. I’ll contact you as soon as possible. I too look forward to another meeting with you.”
We then both smiled at each other.
From then on, I escorted Belial up until the exit.
Wait a minute, didn’t this guy mention to the Mythological Fox earlier that he wanted to tour around Avalon? Bah, whatever. If he’s serious about becoming my ally, he’ll have plenty of chances later.
When he was no longer within eyesight, Kuina spoke.
Meanwhile, I was exhausted. That guy was like a storm.
“Oto-san, he seems like a good guy”
“Yeah. He’s not what I expected.”
“…but Kuina doesn’t like him. Something’s strange about him. Kuina can’t quite put a finger on it, but about him gives me the chills, makes my tail furs stand on end.”
She said so while tilting her head.
Something about him gives her the chills? I better make note of that.
As for what to do next, I figured I should first visit the [Beast] dungeon and ask Marcho about him.
After that, I was going to visit Duke’s house. I still needed to reward him for his role in the [War] as well as properly congratulate him on becoming a true [Dragon Emperor]. I had a present prepared for him that I was sure he was going to like.
TL note: Please remember that this is the start of a new volume/book. That means there will be details such as character and skill descriptions that must be told again so that readers who haven’t read the previous chapters and volumes in a while would be reminded. If you’re binge reading this, I ask that you show some patience. Thank you.
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