We left the city and headed toward the dungeon of the [Time] Demon Lord Dantalian.
Since I was going to build a dungeon somewhere between his dungeon and the city of Eclaba, going through the proper procedures was a must or else it would seem like an act of aggression.
Truth be told though, Marcho had already contacted him beforehand. She had thoroughly conveyed to him my purpose on building my city and that it wasn’t my intention to snatch away any of the visitors from his dungeon. I really owed Marcho so much, I couldn’t even look her in the eye.
We finally arrived at our destination after a long journey. The walk by itself took a while but we also encountered some monsters on our way. I experienced the walk myself and I realized that it was truly better to have a city halfway.
The [Time] Demon Lord’s dungeon was of the high tower type. It was a dungeon that felt somewhat sinister and intimidating.
“It really is a popular dungeon with all the people coming and going.”
Dumbfounded, I murmured so. A lot of humans were entering and exiting the tower. Stalls, although small in scale, were open for business. The shops that sold food and medicine as well as the shops that did simple repairs on the adventurers’ equipment were numerous.
“Kuina was surprised but there’s really an awful lot of injured people here.”
Just as Kuina said, there really were a lot of injured people here. Since they fought monsters as a profession, being injured was unavoidable. It was unavoidable and yet humans still continued to challenge the dungeon for its rewards were far more alluring than the risks.
“Master, I understand that we’re here to visit the [Time] Demon Lord but how shall we do it? Do we have to fight all the way to the top floor of the dungeon?”
Elder dwarf raised a legitimate question. It was, after all, normal for Demon Lords to stay hidden within the innermost space of their dungeon where their crystal was held.
“I don’t think that will be necessary. He has been informed beforehand that we will be coming this evening and he’s one of the most powerful Demon Lords so I’m quite sure he’s got something planned.”
It would be just like going to hell itself if we ever did have to fight all the way to the top since dungeons of old Demon Lords were easily comprised of more than a hundred levels.
“You all got your weapons?”
Each one nodded in response to my question.
We then pumped ourselves up and advanced into the dungeon.
I was shocked by the fervor that greeted us as we entered the dungeon.
Countless humans and monsters were fighting with one another.
I wondered how the [Time] Demon Lord was able to acquire such a number of monsters and then thought there might have been some kind of method to increase the number of one’s monsters that I didn’t knew about.
We slipped our way through the fights and advanced ahead, avoiding fights with the monsters as much as possible. The sole purpose, after all, of us being here was to meet with the [Time] Demon Lord Dantalian and thus, I wanted to avoid killing his monsters and getting on his bad side pointlessly.
At the exact moment we exited the first floor, I felt some kind of mysterious energy.
I then looked at Kuina’s direction and noticed she was moving strangely slow. But it wasn’t Kuina that was slow, it was the world itself.
What could this be, I wondered as my consciousness faded out.
A mild headache assaulted me as my consciousness returned. I then heard a voice talking to me.
“I believe this is our second time to meet each other. I am the [Time] Demon Lord Dantalian. In the name of fairness, I would like to say beforehand that Marcho has already informed me all about you.”
The suit-clad, big-monocle-wearing, wineglass-in-hand handsome young man sat on a throne with his legs crossed as he spoke.
I took a moment to look around and noticed I was in a western-style room filled with the finest furnishings. Beside Dantalian was a crystal. I guessed that this was most probably the innermost part of his dungeon.
Fortunately, my monsters were with me.
“Thanks for having us. Earlier, my body suddenly stopped moving. Was that perhaps Dantalian-sama’s power?”
“Exactly. I didn’t want too many humans seeing your transfer so I froze the flow of time for everyone in there. Afterwards, a monster of mine used [Transfer] and transported you here.”
I shivered at his words.
He was able to, at the very least, stop the flow of time in all of the rooms in his dungeon. On top of that, he was also able to choose which targets he wanted transport.
If this war a [War], our side would have already lost, and my monsters and I dead, then and there.
But I shouldn’t just jump to conclusions. He only did those things right after we exited the first floor so perhaps there was some kind of restriction behind it. Also, by everyone there, he might have meant everyone in the room he chose rather than everyone in the three-roomed floor.
“I see. Just as Marcho said, you’re quick-witted and very cautious.”
“Is that a compliment?”
“Of course. Because if you were otherwise, you won’t be able to survive for long. I expect much from you.”
He was terribly looking down on me and he had every right to for at the present, he was vastly superior compared to me.
“Well then, shall we tackle my main topic at hand?”
“Hmm, before that, I would like to ask you something… have you already slept with Marcho?”
I was dumbfounded for an instant. What on earth is this guy talking about?
“No, I have not. Our relationship is that of a parent and her child. If we’re anything more, it’s that we are friends.”
“I see. I’m relieved by that.”
“I have been courting her all this time, you see, but have only been rejected so far. She won’t even let me hold her hand.”
Dantalian then let out a dry laugh.
After I heard his story about Marcho, I was both somewhat shaken and relieved.
“I’m a little bit surprised.”
“Hmm, that much of a response, huh? Oh well. So, you intend to build a dungeon between Eclaba and my dungeon, correct? But it won’t be a typical dungeon where you use monsters and treasures to lure in humans? Instead, you want to build a city and gather them with trade and agriculture.”
“Yes, I do. And to do just that, I had come here to meet with you.”
“Very well, I approve.”
“You’re going to just like that?”
“Well, my dungeon won’t just crumble because of a dungeon of a young Demon Lord. Moreover, you’re Marcho’s kid. All that said though, I expect to be compensated……… The monsters behind you, each one’s an S rank and I find that interesting. You see, a century ago, I was awarded by the Creator an S rank medal. With it, I made one S rank monster. But you, so young yet you already have three. Indeed, very interesting.”
Dantalian then evaluated Kuina, Elder Dwarf, and Ancient Elf in that order.
Seeing as it was him, I was sure he was able to see the girls’ abilities.
“That can’t be your price…”
“Yes, I am to receive one of your monsters. You may choose which one it is that you’re going to give me. Don’t be worried, for that price, I’m also willing to give you a [Time] medal, and [Time] is one of the most powerful medals.”
The girls anxiously looked at me.
Give him one of the girls I love? Something like that…
“That’s out of the question. If that is to be your condition, then I shall have to abandon my plans of building a dungeon here.”
Without doubt, this was the best location for my dungeon. If I built it here, I was sure that it would be a guaranteed success.
Furthermore, the fact that [Time] Demon Lord Dantalian was born in the same year as Marcho and would therefore vanish before long also appealed to me. When he’s gone, I would then be able to begin the operation my dungeon as a real one brazenly and at no risk.
I had no knowledge so far of a place more ideal than this.
If I had a [Time] medal, I just might be able to make monsters more powerful than them but that wasn’t a reason compelling enough for me to give up one of my beloved girls; I didn’t love them just for their abilities.
“What an immediate reply. And you didn’t waver for even a moment. Your love towards your monsters, that too is an important quality of a Demon Lord. Do your best to cherish them.”
He drank from his wineglass as though he was in a good mood.
“You were testing me?”
“More or less. But I still expect to be compensated. You are asking me for a favor and so you shouldn’t expect me to support you without getting anything out of the deal when you aren’t even my child. So, instead of your monsters, I will ask for your [Creation] medal. Of course, my own [Time] medal is also in the deal.”
Only one [Creation] medal remained in my possession.
I could trade it but not under these conditions.
“Those are fair terms but let me correct some things. You are mistaken to think that it’s only me who will profit from this venture. What I would build is more of a city than a dungeon. If you had a convenient city near your dungeon, there should be an increase in the number of human visitors, more you have ever had in fact. Eclaba is just too inconveniently distant from here and my town will help solve that problem.”
Although I hid my intentions of, in the end, taking all of his visitors away, I didn’t utter a single lie. His dungeon would be more popular than ever.
“Maybe but I have no intention to rescind my terms. We are being prohibited to attack you new Demon Lords but that is under the assumption that there’s no real harm being done to us. Your plans may be interpreted as you wanting to pick a fight with me and fighting back under such circumstances can never be wrong.”
The real meaning behind his words was that if I chose to disregard his terms and go build my dungeon anyways, he would destroy it. I had no doubt he could and would do so.
“I understand. Then, let me add other conditions instead. My [Creation] is a very unique and powerful medal. Even your [Time] medal can’t be compared to it. Therefore, I will ask for an additional original medal in return for it. Also, I will forbid you from disclosing any information about my [Creation] medal to anyone. I will accept your terms if you also accept mine.”
“You talk big, don’t you? This is the first time someone’s said my medal isn’t good enough. How daring of you to brag to me of all people!”
“My medal is a medal that will give you an S rank monster which so far you’ve only had one of. I’m of the thought that one of those will be more than enough for your approval on building my dungeon, your [Time], and one other original medal.”
Such was my objective evaluation. [Creation] was worth that much.
“Hmm, you do have a point. Very well, I’ll let my curiosity get the better of me this time. Regarding the need for secrecy, I’m fine with it but will you trust me to honor my word?”
“Yes. I don’t think you will do anything that Marcho will despise. If ever, I will mercilessly tattle about it.”
“Hahaha. Ahahahaha. That’s certainly true. I’m pleased and I understand why Marcho’s pleased with you as well. Very well then, I approve of your plan to build a dungeon… And, here’s the [Time] and [Water] medal. With this, you have obtained all of the four great elements.”
He spoke and then threw two medals.
In return, I tossed him [Creation].
As one might expect from [Time], the medal that belonged to one of the most powerful Demon Lords, and [Water], one of the four great elements, both of them were exceptionally strong.
I lost the one [Creation] medal I had and the synthesis would have to take place a month from now but it seemed likely that the monster’s going to be strong.
“With this, our contract is sealed. Dantalian-sama, please do visit my city once it’s finished.”
“Alright. I look forward to it. I’ll try asking Marcho on a date just in case… not once has she accepted my offer though. Anyway, do come again. I’m quite pleased with you. I’ll prepare a game with prizes.”
The two of us then smiled.
I thought about inviting Marcho and Dantalian to come over at the same time wherein they will then accidentally run into each other but I decided to drop the thought. My chest throbbed and I didn’t know why.
Anyway, now that it has been decided, let’s go open my dungeon!
TL note: The four great elements are Fire, Earth, Wind, and Water. The medals Procell has obtained are Flame, Soil, Wind, and Water. I don’t know the differences if ever there is any.