I was in my crystal room, the deepest part of the dungeon beneath Avalon. As I watched the holograms being projected, Rorono, the silver-haired Elder Dwarf, restlessly typed in environmental parameters.
To modify the dungeon, the Demon Lord book and the crystal were both needed. And the form of the interface to input the new information varied depending on the user’s perception of it. In her case, it was a computer’s keyboard.
“Master, I have completed the basic design. Making the third room itself was no problem but to accomplish master’s plan, we need more explosives.”
“I’ll make more materials via [Creation], then. The question now will be would we have enough by the due date?”
“Basing on the current rate of production… Mhm, we’ll somehow just have enough by then. But are you sure? It seems so short-termed.”
Elder Dwarf and I were discussing about the plans for the third room. To realize these plans, both of her knowledge and technical skills were needed.
I would make the materials using [Creation] and the Skeletons would untiringly assemble them into large amounts of explosives. Some of these explosives were to be used by the griffon’s bombarding unit while some were to be placed in the third room.
“It’s alright since we’re only concerned about efficiently annihilating the enemy.”
“Mhm. I understand. Also, it seems the traps are hard to detonate despite the window of opportunity to do so being quite short.”
“It requires some strength, huh. Let the golems detonate them. It’ll sacrifice the golems but they can be replaced. Such can’t be said about you guys.”
For this war, unlike the exhibition I participated in, one wrong step and any which one of my monsters I love would die, never to come back.
All of them, Kuina, Rorono, Ancient Elf, and of course Wight, Griffon, the Mythological Foxes, the Dwarf Smiths, and the High Elves, were important companions. Companions I’ve shared laughs and smiles with. I didn’t want to lose a single one of them.
“Understood. I am pleased with master’s feelings and as a [Monster of the Covenant], I will do my best so as to not disappoint Father.”
With new found determination, she examined the once finished plans for the third floor and searched for ways to improve it.
Ever the reliable child.
At any rate, I hated the time the war would start. It was because the soonest I could make my [Creation] medal for this month was while the war was ongoing, or 10 hours after its start to be exact.
If I made the new monster to be able to grow, I wouldn’t have enough time to level it up to the point it could serve as a part of my fighting force, even despite being an S rank.
On the other hand, making it to have a fixed level was wasteful.
Whatever it might be, I had to decide as soon as possible.
While we were in the middle of work, a blue bird perched itself on my shoulder.
This bird was [Wind] Demon Lord Stolas’s monster. The one she uses to send letters to me.
“I’ll be there soon. Please prepare some tea as you wait.”
So it said.
I wondered if she even received the letter I sent her.
For her to come so soon, she really was a good person.
Rorono had finished her work on the plan and we were chatting as we ate some sweets. But then, the outside grew noisy so I went out wondering what the cause could be.
As I stepped outside, I noticed the noisy adventurers looking up in the sky.
I looked at the sky myself and saw a gigantic Griffon approaching my house.
From the magic power I could sense to its size and color, I concluded it wasn’t any ordinary Griffon but one at the top of its lineage.
When the gigantic griffon landed, a determined green-haired beautiful girl jumped off of its back and rushed her way to my direction.
Needless to say, the adventurers were dumbfounded.
Humans that could tame monsters and travel using those monsters were rare but nonetheless existed. However, for a human to tame an A rank monster such as this superior griffon, they had to be in the same class as a hero. Thus, the adventurers’ surprise at her was justified.
“Here I am, Procell. Things have become really serious, haven’t they?”
“Thank you for coming so soon. We’ve got a lot to talk about so why don’t we so inside?”
All around us were the adventurers and I didn’t want any of them to hear our conversation where words like Demon Lord and War would undoubtedly come up a lot.
“Yeah, I guess so. Is this your house? It’s quite grand, isn’t it?”
“This is the house and city I boast. This way please.”
And like so, I invited Stolas inside and into a guest room.
As I—seated in the guest room—was about to sip on the prepared black tea, Stolas voiced her many concerns.
“Procell, I’ve read your letter and knew of your [War]. And with three people, nonetheless.”
“Yes, that’s so. You’ve warned me beforehand of an alliance but I was still surprised to have three Demon Lords declare war on me.”
I had guessed as much as two but three was wholly unexpected. Moreover, I would have never fathomed it would become a war with such a disadvantageous rule.
Evidently, I was still so naïve.
“I’m glad you wrote to me. I was worried since the information about your war was transmitted to all Demon Lords, you know.”
I glanced up and kept my vision there. What she said sounded troublesome.
“Can it be that this war as well will be broadcasted?”
“It doesn’t look like it but I expect the results would be announced.”
“Okay, that’s good.”
After all, this war wasn’t one I could refrain from using my aces so exposing my hand to all the Demon Lords was something I would like to avoid if possible.
“Do you believe you can win this war?”
“Yes, I do.”
I fully believed so.
“Wow, you said that without a trace of hesitation though I guess that’s just like you. Ahem… do you want to raise your chances of winning?”
Truth be told, I’ve only written in the letter I had sent to her that I wanted to meet and talk about my present circumstances.
I intended to ask for her cooperation but I didn’t expect for her to bring it up herself.
“Wait, are you offering to help me?”
“Exactly so. At the same time as the start of the [War], any creatures within the dungeon that is not a Demon Lord or a monster will be transferred to a place where time is stopped. Conversely speaking, other Demon Lords and monsters not under the rule of a participating Demon Lord can stay within the dungeon during a [War].”
I had also found out that loophole.
Even if one couldn’t directly participate in a war, they could still help out.
Furthermore, at the start of the [War], new Demon Lords and their monsters could attack one another without worry of repercussions.
However, according to that wording, older Demon Lords—Demon Lords other than the NEW Demon Lords—were still forbidden from harming us during the [War].
“Thank you for your offer of help. I was thinking of asking for it myself. But what kind of compensation would you like in return?”
I frankly asked her so. I intended to give her something suitable for help.
“That will be unnecessary.”
But [Wind] Demon Lord matter-of-factly replied so.
“I’m thankful for that but will it not be a problem for you to gain nothing from risking your subordinates to danger?”
It was our responsibility as Demon Lords. Seeing as we were making our monsters sweat and bleed for us, getting some kind of reward out of a task was the least we could do.
“I’m going to assist you in this war out of my own ego. I’m going to be involved not as a Demon Lord who is in command of an army of monsters but as a friend helping out a friend in need. So under such circumstances, I can’t make my monsters go along with me. I will be the only one to help you this time.”
“I’m happy to hear that but—and don’t get me wrong—but what can you alone bring to table?”
“What are you saying? Have you already forgotten about my abilities? Besides, I have my own dungeon to defend so you can say the real reason for being alone is that I can’t take too much of my fighting force from my dungeon.”
I remembered the exhibition war we participated in before.
A skill unique to Stolas, her [Wind]. And that skill was composed of many varying skills.
Standing out among those skills were…
“Are you talking about your [Omnipresence]?”
“Yes, exactly. I’m an army even by myself.”
That was no exaggeration, only a statement of fact.
“Again, I’m thankful for the help but why help me so much?”
Stolas and I were competing rivals to be the strongest among the new Demon Lords and me being defeated should have been in her best interest.
“You are my rival. For you to be defeated by anyone else is out of the question! …Also, ahm, you’re the first friend I ever had so of course I’ll help.”
What, a tsundere!? I almost said so out loud but thankfully managed to gulp it down.
“Understood. But still, I have to repay the favor you’ll be doing; accepting charity, even from a friend, does not sit well with me. That’s it then, we’ll be dealing not as Demon Lords but as doing one another favors. First, let me welcome you to my city and provide to you the grandest accommodations possible. Furthermore, I swear to you that I will come to your aid whenever you need it.”
Upon hearing me, Stolas thinly smiled. Such a grown up expression suited her.
“You’re so stubborn. But I’m happy you said so. I’ll be looking forward to you paying me back, then. I’ll call on you if ever I got into trouble. I mean, we are friends, right? …anyway, I’m helping you out so you absolutely can’t lose, okay?”
Stolas gleefully yet awkwardly emphasized us being friends.
I found that way of talking amusing so I smiled.
“I have one request, though. I want my monsters to push themselves for this war. It might be dangerous but now is the perfect opportunity to try and find out about their hidden potentials so I have to do it like that. So that we may focus our efforts on that end, I ask you, [Wind] Demon Lord Stolas, to stay within my crystal room and guard my crystal until the war is over.”
I declared my request.
She was to be our last line of defense. If at all possible, I would like to win without ever borrowing her strength.
Even though she was here to help me, letting her into my crystal room was still dangerous but I had enough confidence to think she would never betray me.
“Alright. So you really plan to go all out on the three of them by yourself; as expected of my rival. That said, I won’t forgive you if you show such a pitiful performance. ”
“You can see everything going on within my dungeon if you stay at the crystal room so please evaluate my fight.”
I got help from someone unexpected.
But with this, my chances of winning went up further.
Now, all that I needed to do was to steadily hasten my preparations.
Note: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsundere. There is no simple English equivalent so I suggest you get familiar with the term if you haven’t already.