Chapter 1: The work of a Demon Lord

“I see, you’re still confused. I guess just by calling you a Demon Lord won’t make you get what it means all of the sudden. It can’t be helped, I’ll show you what kind of being a Demon Lord is.”

She smiled bitterly and then turned her back towards me. I followed after the [Beast] Demon Lord Marchosias or as I call her Marcho.

Despite her appearance of being a simple white-haired beauty (with wolf ears and tail), there was something in her that made me believe she’s truly a Demon Lord.

She led me into a small room.

When I looked at the mirror leaning against the wall, there was a good looking boy halfway through his teens. Was that really me?

I felt strangely out of place.

And, lying in the center of the room was a white pedestal with a round crystal on it.

As I tried to secretly reach for the crystal, Marcho grabbed my hand.

“Will you please not touch this? If ever this crystal breaks, all my powers as a Demon Lord will be lost. It is my very life.”

“You’ll die?”

“No, I don’t mean it like that. I won’t be able to create monsters anymore while all the monsters I’ve created so far will disappear as well as the dungeon, all on top of losing my Unique Skill. I’ll still have my life, but for a Demon Lord, it’s the same as dying.”

I felt a little relieved hearing that.

But at the same time, it also brought me worries.

If I were perhaps a so called Demon Lord as she said, then my own crystal existed somewhere out there.

Should my crystal break and I in turn lose my powers as a Demon Lord without even knowing its location, then I wouldn’t be able to remain calm about it.

“Hee, so you’re aware of the danger in what I said. You have a good head on you. But, don’t worry. That crystal will appear only after you have built a dungeon. Conversely, if you don’t build a Dungeon, there will be no crystal… [I Shall Compose].”

A massive book made of parchments appeared on her hands.

Marcho slowly opened it.

“I think you’ve already noticed but we are in the innermost part of my Dungeon. I wonder if it looks like this.”

As she said so, a hologram was being displayed above the crystal.

It was a splendid but eerie castle.

“Although I say Dungeon, its appearance depend on the Demon Lord. If there are the orthodox cave dungeons, then it’s also fine to have a castle like mine. It can even be the very forest itself. You too will build your own Dungeon once you’re independent, so you better start thinking of what kind of Dungeon you’ll build.”

“I don’t fully understand what you just talked about. What do you mean by being independent?”

“Ah, yes, I haven’t said anything about it, have I? Newly born Demon Lords will study for a year under a senior Demon Lord. Afterwards, they will be on their own and build a Dungeon. In other words, I am your guardian for a year. Therefore, it means that I will be gently teaching you.”

The blue wolf she suddenly set on me said enough.

“Well then, let’s try to prepare you for your lessons on how to build a Dungeon. Try saying this: [I shall compose].”

“Okay. Err, [I shall compose].”

A book appeared on my hand.

I naturally opened it.

Upon doing so, there was a page with Dungeon Construction written on it.

“From the catalogue in there, chose the ones you like and combine them up. First is the exterior. It is the scenery seen from outside. I wonder if those will suit your preferences perfectly. Next, the interior. The space-time in the Dungeon’s interior is distorted. So actually, my dungeon is much wider than what you see from the outside. It has vast levels.”

I flipped through the pages.

Just as she said, various dungeon designs were available. In all of the pages though, DP was written.

“What does this DP mean?”

“Dungeon Points. We Demon Lords are always collecting them, desperately so. And in exchange for them, we can obtain the things written on the book. The elaborate exteriors costs more DP even though there is no change in its performance. For the interior however, its price is directly related to its performance, I guess.”

“Interior?”

“It’s faster if you saw it, right?”

As soon as she said so, the scenery on the hologram of the crystal from before changes form.

“My Dungeon is the kind to be divided by levels, the type where you progress the higher you go. A level is divided into three rooms and these rooms are purchased individually. So for the first floor of my Dungeon, I’ve made it with cheap stone hallways.”

As she said, all of the twists and turns were made of stones.

“On the top levels, I’ve bought expensive rooms that has traps and all sorts of things which the first few floors don’t have.”

As I looked at the hologram, I saw that a human male was fighting with a Kobold. A  Kobold was a bipedal dog monster.

The blue wolf that I fought… When compared to the Garm I fought, it would look like a puppy.

The man defeated the Kobold and took a victory pose.

The scene changed once more. The new one was of a human finding a chest, with greed all over his face.

“You’re not using monsters like the blue wolf I fought earlier? If that guy was having such a hard time fighting with something like a Kobold, then a Garm would kill him easily.”

I just didn’t get it.

If you intended to drive away intruders, you should definitely deploy powerful monsters from the get go.

“I can’t do that. DP, you see, is the life force of humans. Strong emotions like fear, despair and lust are particularly tasty. The more humans I gather in this Dungeon, the more DP I can obtain. A lot of DP is obtained when they’re killed off but if too many powerful monsters were on the beginning floors, then the humans won’t come here anymore. So, I have to deploy moderately easy to defeat monsters.”

“The treasure chest earlier, could they perhaps be used as lures to gather the humans?”

“Bingo, it’s exactly like that. By the way, the humans come in here to get stronger. When humans defeat monsters, it raises their levels. They become stronger, obtain treasures, and then go back home, satisfied. On the other hand, the Demon Lord gets the DP and everyone’s happy. Also, stronger monsters give out higher experience, so the more powerful monsters are placed on the top floors. The Demon Lord gains more DP the stronger the human is so it’s also a profit for us. If we set up the monsters to get progressively stronger, then both the weak and strong humans could be lured in and then, a lot of DP is gathered. ”

I see, so the plan’s like that.

For Demon Lords to gather DP, they open their doors to human beings.

“So then, you should give out impressive treasure chests and instruct the powerful monsters to lose on purpose.”

“That’s not how it works. I mean, the treasures placed in the dungeon are obtained by exchanging it with DP. Even the monsters aren’t for free. And while a lot of people will come to the Dungeon, making it profit and also making it a chance to show off what a Demon Lord can do… More than any of those, you see, if by any chance a human arrives at the innermost part and kill the Demon Lord or break the crystal, then it all ends there. Being a Demon Lord’s surprisingly hard work, you know.  Most Demon Lords remain in the final room of their Dungeon. A room filled with expensive traps and where they have prepared a field covered with improvements to help them.”

I gulped down.

I understood both the joy and the hardship of the work a Demon Lord does.

However, I had just one concern.

“Demon Lords eat human emotions, don’t they? And then you say that we use monsters and treasures as lure to gather the humans, but why do such an ineffiecient thing?”

To my words, Marcho tilted her head.

“What do you mean by that?”

“Well, won’t it be faster to gather people and make them live on the Dungeon. Rather, it won’t be a Dungeon anymore and will be a town instead. That way, you should be able to earn DP 24 hours non-stop.”

When I said so, Marcho laughed out loud.

“Certainly, it’s plausible. But, it’s troublesome. The efficiency of obtaining DP increases when humans are in situations where powerful emotions comes out; the rush of adrenaline when they risk their life in combat or when they find treasure. Though fighting gives out the best efficiency.”

“Really? But then that’s if you examine it individually. If the number of humans that reside in the Dungeon were by the hundreds, it can reverse what you said and gather more DP, right?”

For some reason, I had a thought that I didn’t really want to kill other people.

Could this be related to my forgotten memories?

But I’m also a man who feels calmer when he’s holding a pistol; it’s contradicting.

“I guess. Then, perhaps you could be that kind of Demon Lord. There are as much Demon Lords as there are ways to being one. It’s better to go your own way.”

“That’s right, I’ll do that. But before I do, I want to properly learn all I can. As of now, that’s nothing but a pipe dream.”

“Great dedication. I showed you Dungeon building so next I’ll show you monster making. In a sense, it’s the best part of being a Demon Lord.”

Monster making.

What kind of monster will I create? My curiosity has been piqued.

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