Wight who was left in charge after his lord had gone out to conquer [Viscosity] and [Evil]’s dungeons quietly concentrated. Never did he doubt that his respected lord or even the girls his lord loved would succeed.
However, his duty was to protect the city his lord, Procell, founded. It was an important duty entrusted to him precisely because his lord had faith he could do it.
Failing was absolutely not an option even if it meant sacrificing their lives to protect the dungeon.
“Wight-sama, the enemies have arrived.”
The brown-skinned girl beside him, a Dwarf Smith, spoke with a slightly tensed voice. In recognition of her operation of the golems which played a major role in the last war, she was appointed to be the adjutant to Wight.
Wight was currently in the second room of the dungeon and was therefore unable to survey the enemies through the crystal. To make up for this and to serve as his eyes was his adjutant, the Dwarf Smith, who was able to see what the golems she controls could see. By letting her report detailed information, Wight would then be able to issue the appropriate instructions.
Their first line of defense, the first room of the dungeon, seemed like the same 2 kilometer straightforward room used in the war against the [Wind] Demon Lord with Mithril Golems equipped with heavy-machineguns stationed near its exit. …it was actually an improved version of that room with many and various additional gimmicks.
“Hmm. Miss, how many enemies are there?”
“I highly doubt the enemies are only this much. I think it’s safe to assume these enemies are spies sent to gauge our strength. If that is what they want, then let us show it to them. Issue the order to begin attacking.”
He judged that it didn’t matter which kind of trick was at play and ordered an attack.
By the Dwarf Smith’s command, the Mithril Golems pulled the trigger of their heavy-machineguns and unleashed a mass of murderous intent.
Like that, the curtains of the battle were raised.
Procell’s words floated in Wight’s mind. Each of his lord’s words were clad in a radiance seen in the likes of gemstones.
His lord had imparted to him countless of tactics.
Even now, his heart was with his lord. He decided that just perfectly accomplishing the role granted to him wasn’t enough; he would do better than perfect.
~[Steel] Demon Lord Zagan’s point of view~
I really have unreliable allies thought [Steel] Demon Lord Zagan as he clicked his tongue.
He allied himself with two other Demon Lords but they were so unbelievably useless. After letting the [Creation] Demon Lord do as he pleased, they lost the will to fight and decided to just hole up in their own dungeons.
In the end, he had no choice but to conquer Procell’s dungeon on his own.
Still, he got to admit he was thankful to Procell for deploying his best monsters outside of the dungeon.
Though it was that incompetent decision of Procell that forced Zagan to be the only one to set out to conquer the dungeon in the first place, he didn’t feel angry about it; if anything, he felt happy to be the one to get to personally crush Procell’s crystal. He thought of such and raised the corner of his mouth while being clad with his Monster of the Covenant, a Killing Armor.
The Killing Armor was a higher-ranked Living armor. And monsters of the Living Armor lineage were monsters that had great offensive and defensive capabilities. They were also armors that were hollow inside and could therefore be worn.
Aside from the Killing Armor, the two A rank monsters that were loaned to him were also by Zagan’s side. He was as safe as could be imagined. A coward such as him wouldn’t dare go out to the battlefield if he had anything less than this.
“That guy Morax did a wonderful thing giving me his A rank monster. He’s still useless but he’s at least better than [Viscosity]. Fufufu, now, let’s attack this deserted dungeon with two A rank fully-leveled monsters!”
The [Steel] Demon Lord chuckled so.
No matter how he thought about it, there was no way for him to lose.
Even so, he knew he needed to be cautious about the Mithril Golems and their huge cylindrical weapons that were used to crush the [Wind] Demon Lord.
To break through of those, he formulated his plan. Procell would probably not even know what hit him.
First was to send out scouts.
Zagan wasn’t a fool that would just implement his Mithril Golem countermeasure right off the bat. There was always the chance that there could be traps placed to counter his own countermeasures. Hence, to confirm whether or not Procell used the very same tactics as before, Zagan sent out scouts.
A tiger does its best even when hunting sheep. There is no room for error.
D rank Living Armors made clanking noises as they entered Procell’s dungeon from the white space. The purchase of these monsters with DP became possible ever since Zagan had made the B rank monster Killing Armor. And so, losing the Living Armors was of little to no consequence since he could always just buy some more.
Zagan then closed his eyes.
Supposedly, his ability was to create ores and that would make one think of production. However, there was two other points to his ability. He concealed these two points to even his allies and made them think he was a fool that would carelessly expose all of the cards on his hand.
Anyway, the first one was that he could also see what the inorganic-type monsters under his control could see. Some monsters could do this with golems but his Unique Skill was overwhelmingly far more extensive.
The second was that he could enhance the defense and magic defense of the inorganic monsters in the same room as he’s in. His monsters which even normally had high defense would become much tougher, enough to rival an iron wall. Any half-hearted attack would be easily shrugged off.
He thought of his Unique Skill as appropriate for him who would someday be the strongest Demon Lord.
And like that, Living Armors entered Procell’s dungeon.
“Really now, a fool only ever knows one trick, huh?”
It was a straight path and at its end were the Mithril Golems and their cylindrical weapons; the very same scheme Procell used in his battle against the [Wind] Demon Lord.
Seeing this, [Steel] Demon Lord Zagan was convinced and certain that his strategy was superior to Procell’s.
It was clear just from their first moves. Procell probably thought they would devote themselves to defense given their side’s advantage and thus intended to defeat them by ordering all of his troops to attack.
In actuality, their side opted for an aggressive strategy; when attacked, they were to immediately share that information to the others and whoever was not attacked would invade Procell’s dungeon. To Zagan, it was an ingenious plan.
[Evil] Demon Lord Morax suggested that Procell had managed to see through their strategy but for Zagan, that was an overestimation born only out of Morax’s main force being annihilated all at once. Really, that Morax is such a coward.
In addition, the countermeasures against the Mithril Golems which Procell seemed to rely heavily upon were perfect.
Other than the ranks of their medals, Zagan was confident he wouldn’t lose to any other aspect against Procell and that included this [War].
And then, after he had beaten Procell, his next target was [Wind]. He felt that her medal—An A rank and one of the four great elements—suited him just fine.
That’ll show that shit of a woman for rejecting my offer of an alliance. After I break her crystal, I’ll be sure to make her suffer..
After their first year, the new Demon Lords were to be given a new crystal should theirs be broken within that timeframe. However, that would amount to nothing if the Demon Lord themselves were killed. So if Zagan were to threaten to kill a fellow new Demon Lord, he should be able to pretty much make them do anything he wished.
“Now then, time to show them all my strategy!”
Zagan shouted so and the slimes in the vanguard began creeping its way forward. Most noteworthy was the gigantic light green slime that looked like it could swallow a fully grown adult whole. Beside it were more than a hundred dog-sized slimes.
The gigantic slime was [Viscosity] Demon Lord’s Monster of the Covenant, an Acid Slime.
While the relatively smaller ones were the D rank Glow Slimes that Ronove had become able to purchase.
A characteristic of the Acid Slime was its [Shock Absorption]. In exchange for an almost nonexistent attack power, this monster was more than able to withstand a barrage of attacks coming even from an A rank monster. In addition to that, this slime also possessed powerful self-regeneration.
The Glow Slimes too possessed similar abilities albeit of several ranks lower.
His strategy was exceedingly simple.
First, the Acid Slime was to advance while it endured the enemies’ onslaught. When it has taken too much damage, the Glow Slimes were to act as its shield and buy the Acid Slime some time to heal itself. The Acid Slime also had the ability to absorb into itself another slime’s liquid body. This meant that the Acid Slime could absorb the bodies of the fallen Glow Slimes that acted as its shield to speed up its self-regeneration.
And then, once they were close enough, the Acid Slime was to wrap its acid body onto the Mithril Golems and their mysterious weapons. The acid wouldn’t be able to melt mithril but the weapons should be ruined. So long as the weapons were taken care of, everything else was easy; there was no need to fret about the sluggish Mithril Golems.
But then, by his estimate, things might not even need to reach that point. This was based on the projections of the war before where the cylindrical weapons took a rest from firing, suggesting a limit to its continuous use.
Furthermore, since it was a long-range weapon, it should have limited ammunition. He was confident that before the slimes even get the chance to swallow the weapons, those would have first turned into useless metal rods.
For this war, they had handed DP over to [Viscosity] and had him make a massive amount of slimes. And Zagan fully intended to make a profit out of this investment.
“I have to finish things here before [Viscosity] falls. Though I doubt his A rank monster would lose to Procell’s monsters. Well, it is [Viscosity] and he most probably will find ways to screw himself up.”
And like so, the slimes borrowed from [Viscosity] entered Procell’s dungeon one by one.
Creeping its way in the very front was the gigantic Acid Slime.
It didn’t have much but the slime seemed to have at least enough intelligence to squeeze its liquid body down to as slim and low as its highly dense body would allow, hence resulting to an efficient means of defense.
Behind the Acid Slime were the numerous Glow Slimes that were creeping their way forward in a similar fashion. And flying over their heads were the countless bullets being fired.
It was going great but then the Mithril Golems, upon the Dwarf Smith’s instruction, momentarily stopped firing and adjusted the angle of their guns’ muzzles. After a short while, they resumed firing, only this time, they readjusted the angle of their guns’ muzzles for each round fired.
The bullets that flew over the gigantic slime’s head began to graze it, getting closer and closer, until finally, the slime was hit. The gigantic slime wobbled greatly. However, that was it, nothing more, nothing less. The bullets stopped moving before it could exit the slime’s body. The slime then continued to creep forward as it spitted out the 12.7mm bullets it stopped.
Even compared to all monsters, the physical resistance displayed here was top class.
As I thought, if anybody could do it, it’s these guys, thought Zagan who struck a victory pose when he saw the scene through the eyes of a small inorganic monster that used the slime army as shield.
And then, perhaps due to being done with adjusting the angle of their guns’ muzzles, the golems began to once again rapid-fire.
Despite only seeing it through the eyes of another being, the storm of mayhem was enough to make Zagan tremble.
The heavy-machineguns spewed out ten bullets per second and each of those bullets was comparable an A rank monster’s full-strength attack. And yet, the Acid Slime pressed on—even though it shook wildly—as it absorbed a large amount of bullets into its body.
By all rights, the hail of bullets should have overcome the Acid Slime’s [Shock Absorption] by now but thanks to the slime squeezing its body close to ground, only one out of three bullets hit it. That low accuracy gave the slime enough time to self-regenerate.
Even so, the damage done to the slime was piling up little by little. The Glow Slimes were used to shield some parts of the gigantic slime’s body and thus give it more time to recuperate. The bodies of the killed slimes were then absorbed into the bigger one’s body, healing it even more.
All in all, things were going as [Steel] Demon Lord Zagan had predicted it would.
“Fufufu, has no one ever told that stupid guy to never again use an already exposed trick? This is what he gets for wanting everyone’s attention and recklessly volunteering in that sideshow!”
And then, the heavy-machineguns finally stopped firing due to its gun barrel becoming too hot to use.
In the meantime, the Acid Slime finally finished healing itself up and proceeded to rush ahead.
“Even that incompetent [Viscosity] could actually be of use to me. Now, my monsters, attack!!”
He made his monsters that were on standby in the white space rush inside.
As for Zagan himself, he remained outside with the A rank monsters. He was to remain there until all of his monsters have entered the dungeon.
Even when some of his monsters had entered, the firing still haven’t resumed. It was as though those weapons have become completely useless. Just in case it was a bluff, the slow slimes remained in the lead, still acting as important shields.
It was the right call to assign [Viscosity] the fool’s monsters to act as shields.
Halfway through, things suddenly changed. The slimes were all of a sudden wrapped in flames that came from the sides.
Slimes were strong against physical attacks but were awful against high temperature. And so, being covered in flames, they writhed in pain.
The Acid Slime wrapped the other Glow Slimes into its body in an effort to put out the flames. Ultimately, it failed at completely doing so. It had an almost nonexistent intelligence and yet it nevertheless felt injustice as it burned away.
“Wha–what’s going on!?” cried [Steel] Demon Lord Zagan.
The cause for such was simple: Golems. Although the dungeon room looked nothing but a straightforward path no matter how one looked, its walls were actually excavated wide enough to fit the golems that would hide in them. These tunnels were then disguised in order to conceal them.
Thanks to Elder Dwarf and the Dwarf Smiths’ continued efforts in making golems—one for each of them each day—the amount of golems in Avalon was well more than enough. In the same way, they also prepared many weapons that could correspond with various situations.
One of those were the flamethrowers that were carried by the golems that just appeared. These weapons repurposed the napalm mixture used in the aerial corps’ bombs. That’s why, even when the Acid Slime wrapped itself with the Glow Slimes, the demonic flames born out of the mixture did not disappear.
Procell considered his enemies would counter his Mithril Golems and their heavy-machineguns using monsters that most likely had abilities like shock absorption or ones that granted physical damage resistance. If so, then to answer this, he made the golems with the flamethrowers hide in the tunnels where they could ambush the enemies.
“Wait, what, what’s the meaning of this?”
The attacks of the Mithril Golems surely did stop and the heavy-machineguns unusable. That much was no act but…
“New golems with those damned weapons have appeared!?”
If something was broken, you simply had to replace it.
There were actually six Mithril Golems with heavy-machineguns. Also, they were setup so that they could switch with one another at any time.
Then, why had they not switched until now, one might ask. The answer was simple; Wight patiently waited for when the enemy—after being tricked—charged his troops in.
As a matter of fact, the slimes could have been dealt with much earlier but doing so might have made Zagan hesitate and thus not send in his troops.
And so, until serious damage could be dealt, Wight waited.
The slimes that acted as shields were no more, exposing the numerous prey.
The new Mithril Golems open-fired with their heavy-machineguns. Its 12.7mm large caliber bullets, released at a rate of about 10 rounds per second, travelled at nearly three times the speed of sound. When shooting a human with it, rather than opening a hole, it would make its target explode beyond recognition. That power is then increased further when it’s combined with the bonus provided by Mithril Golems’ crazy strength. Its destructiveness which was ineffective before was now finally on full display.
Zagan’s monsters were inorganic monsters that focused on toughness. However, against those heavy-machineguns, it could not hope to compete.
Zagan’s monsters’ made cracking sounds and fell one by one.
“Fall back, FALL BACK!”
To decrease his losses even if by only a little, Zagan issued so.
More Mithril Golems appeared. Of course, they were also with heavy-machineguns of their own. They were positioned further back in the room so they most probably were from the adjacent room, Zagan thought.
The new ones then lined up with the first ones and the assault became even fiercer. Twice the guns meant twice the damage.
At a lightning fast speed, Zagan’s monsters were exterminated. Zagan came to this realization when there were no more monsters that could become his eyes. In the end, not one monster that went into the dungeon came back.
“My… my strategy, he has seen through it..” whispered Zagan as though the words had to be wringed out of his throat.
He intended to counter Procell’s strategy but got caught up in Procell’s own countermeasures.
With the catastrophe just now, he had lost half of his monsters.
Furthermore, he lacked any means to break through.
What should I do, what should I do???
His joy from earlier was now replaced with gut-wrenching despair.
When he was about to give up, the monster beside him spoke up.
It was a white tiger-type monster.
It had two sharp fangs; its body was muscular and tough; and was covered in beautiful platinum and black body hair.
High-ranking beast monsters—this one included—held intelligence and could even speak.
“Boy, I mean, you, what do you intend to do? I have been peeking into your mind since a while ago and I have also seen that spectacle. So, do you want to break through?”
“Of course I do, but what about those strong attacks?”
“Hmm. Then, leave it up to me. This ought to be fun. If their opener is this enjoyable, then I’m sure the defenses further in will be even more. Good, good. I’ve heard from my master that this war will be interesting so I participated but for a moment there, it was boring me to death. But if things are like this, it looks like I’m going to enjoy myself.”
Such was the monster born as an A rank monster that could grow. It was a being that boasted of being one of the most powerful among the monsters of [Viscosity]’s parent.
“Please, I beg you, do something about those guys.”
“I got it. After all, for the moment, you are my master.”
Zagan threw away his pride and just wished for the defeat of the Mithril Golems.