“This cannot be. Never did I expect even that would fail.”
Wight murmured so as the map spread out before him rustled. It was a map filled with illustrations and letters; a map detailing the state of the battlefield.
Wight being as smart as he was had memorized every small detail featured in the map and therefore did not need it; it was really only there for the sake of the Dwarf Smith, his adjutant.
“Wight-sama, it’s unfortunate that the High Elves were not able to land the killing shot with their long-range sniping. Additionally, to be able to recognize the threat of the napalm bombs even though it’s only his first time to see it, I can’t call it anything but having a terrifying perception.”
“Yes, that tiger monster alone is a problem.”
Out of all his miscalculations, the existence of the monster known as the Byakko was the greatest. If that monsters was not there, they would have killed and won over the [Steel] Demon Lord Zagan a long while ago.
“There’s communication from the sentinel golems; that tiger monster is headed this way by himself. He’s taking down our defensive net one by one. He can’t be stopped.”
“Is that so? Without anything to weigh him down anymore, there will be no monster here in this dungeon room capable of stopping him.”
Wight replied so with a wry smile.
“As things are, it’s bound to get ugly. Wight-sama, I will stay here so please go ahead and head to the crystal room. If it’s the third room, the absolute defense room, taking down that monster is possible.”
“I cannot do that. If I did that, Stolas-sama would have to participate. And if it comes to that, it’s not a flawless victory by our lord anymore.”
“There is nothing to worry about. Anyway, from here on, we will be stopping the deployment of monster units against him and only use golems and traps instead. After all, doing otherwise would only result in increasing the number of casualties. Also, if that tiger monster does reach this point, I will fight him myself. If there’s anyone here that stands a chance, it will be me.”
Wight matter-of-factly informed her so and thus upsetting her as she looked at him.
“It’s suicide to face that beast of an enemy!’
“I will not confront him in a head-on battle; I will use myself to bait him into a trap based on his now too obvious ability.”
“Then, I too shall participate.”
“I will not allow it. You are my adjutant, are you not? In case something happens to me, you will be the one in charge of everyone. Head to the third room as you retreat and then use that. And, please also ask Stolas-sama for assistance. Now, please lend me your golems.”
“Please do not misunderstand, m’lady, this is no bout of heroism on my part; it is simply the best course of action, considering my circumstance.”
“I have already resurrected 20 fallen undead. That amount is close to the limit my ability allows me resurrect.”
A Wight was a creature accompanied by the dead. As such, he was able to turn a deceased being into an undead as well as being able to resurrect an undead.
However, this ability had limits. First was that it would only work on beings that have been dead for not more than three hours. Next was that Wight could only use this ability 22 times a day.
Strictly speaking, he still had some to spare but then, he wanted to be ready for unseen circumstances.
“I cannot and will not let any of my dear fellow monsters die. Moreover, as our beloved lord had said, let’s all smile together once this [War] has ended. I wish for that as well.”
It might be a laughable and impossible wish but he rather liked his lord’s naïve wish.
And so, Wight decided to realize his lord’s wish of winning without losing a single monster. Of course, this sentiment didn’t extend to the golems which weren’t even considered monsters.
“Alright, I won’t stop you but I will participate as well. Please make use of me as a pawn in your plans. I too want to grant Procell-sama his wish.” said the Dwarf Smith as she grabbed Wight’s bone-only hand.
“What a troublesome child. Very well then. But if I tell you to escape, you must, without fail, escape. Only when you promise me this shall I let you participate. I might sound like I’m repeating myself but your most important role as my adjutant in case something happens to me is to survive and support the troops.”
“I understand. Then, the plan..?”
“Yes but first, let us discuss the tiger monster’s ability and how he did not notice the landmines, the poison in the air, and the High Elves’ long-distance shooting despite noticing the other attacks from his blind spots. Considering those…”
Like so, Wight began to discuss the strategy he thought of.
I’m certain I have a grasp on that tiger monster’s shortcomings.
Having overcome the myriad of traps laid out by Wight, the Byakko appeared before the building Wight was using as a headquarters.
Wounded all over after breaking through those carefully, well-thought-out traps, the Byakko stood there with willpower-fueled fire in his eyes. Like that, a man came out to meet him.
“Are you the commander?”
The identity of that man was the all-bones monster that wore a robe that seemed to belong to an aristocrat… Wight.
“Indeed. I am the monster that [Creation] Demon Lord Procell-sama entrusted to defend this dungeon and Avalon. I am called Wight.”
“You’re this competent and yet you’re not named?”
“Yes, sadly. But that’s only because there are other monsters far better than I.”
“Ohh. For you to say that much, those monsters are interesting. I certainly would like to have a fight with them. Anyway, allow me to show you my respect and tell you my name. I am of the Byakko race. My name is Kohaku. An unparalleled name given to me by my master.”
“Kohaku… which can mean amber… I see, that name suits you well. Pardon me for making you the only one to state his name. If in the future I do get a name of my own, I hope that at that time I get the chance to state it to you.”
Why Wight did not take the ever precious first strike or why Byakko bothered to strike up a conversation, only they would ever know.
“Now, then, shall we get started?”
“But you’re not a fighter; you’re not the type that fights head-on battles. In terms of pure fighting strength, you don’t stand a chance against me. Without any allies nearby, what are you planning?”
“Why don’t you try reading my mind? That is your ability, is it not? But then, doing that might prove fatal.”
“Hmm. So you’ve realized my ability and yet, you’re provoking me to use it. Interesting. Well then, let’s start this fight between the manliest of men.”
Their idle chat over, tension filled the air. Like so, the final, decisive battle within [Creation]’s dungeon began.
Wight took out two weapons from his robe. One was a flamethrower while the other was a shotgun.
The flamethrower was the only weapon among the two that could fatally wound the Byakko. The shotgun, on the other hand, was mainly there to keep the enemy in check; it was a weapon that allowed him to hit the Byakko even with his level of marksmanship.
The flamethrower was obviously a customized item that made use of the napalm mixture. While his shotgun was a shotgun converted to use 4-gauge shells and thus had noteworthy power.
Upon converting Kuina’s shotgun into 4-gauge, it was further remodeled to increase its power even more. Meanwhile, Wight’s shotgun was customized to put emphasis on recoil reduction and its ability to rapid-fire. Unless it was customized like so, Wight’s thin arms wouldn’t be able to handle it efficiently.
And so, Wight fired his shotgun against the Byakko.
The Byakko, in response, jumped backwards. He was unable to dodge all of the shots within the shell, yet the damage he received was not life-threatening. Still, in precaution to the flamethrower, he did not dare to plunge himself forward.
Moreover, even though the power of the shots from the shotgun would not be able to deal him a fatal wound, it was still enough to hinder the movements of his already weary and wounded body.
Wight continued his sporadic suppressive fire against the Byakko, keeping the enemy in check. But then, his attacks stopped; his shotgun had ran out of bullets.
Right at the moment the barrage stopped, the Byakko attacked Wight. In response, Wight used his flamethrower. However, such an obvious attack was nimbly dodged by the Byakko.
When the Byakko’s claw was about to grab hold of Wight, the Byakko felt something from his side and was blown away.
That something was a bullet from a High Elf’s anti-materiel rifle. Well before the fight, one of the two High Elves hid itself so that it could provide support to Wight.
This much was within the Byakko’s expectations.
He took the first shot but in exchange, he knew the whereabouts of the High Elf and could now read its thoughts by glancing at it from time to time; he would never again be hit by the elf.
Wight then put a hand into his robe. Upon doing so, the Byakko who was just stabilizing his stance was blown away by an explosion from beneath his feet.
It was a landmine.
It was not a pressure-sensitive landmine but instead a remotely activated one. The Byakko being too fast for a pressure-sensitive landmine would have escaped long before the explosion actually happened. For that reason, it was better to manually activate a landmine that was in a place that the Byakko would land in.
And then, another explosion erupted.
As the smoke rose, Wight quickly changed the magazine of his shotgun while also being mindful of casting a glance at the rolling Byakko.
Unless Wight was able to reload his shotgun and keep his enemy in check, that enemy will close the distance between them and defeat him.
It looked like Wight was the only one on the offensive but in truth, it was a close fight. Despite all of Wight’s advantages in the area—like the weakening curse that only affected living creatures, the nerve gas, and every single conceivable trap—Wight was barely holding on.
“What’s wrong, Kohaku-dono? You don’t look so good.”
“Do you think this much of an attack is enough to kill me? Listen, if you have some kind of trump card, hurry up and use it. Otherwise, you might die before then.”
The Byakko flashed a ferocious smile… and then roared, shaking the very air. It wasn’t just to threaten Wight either; it was a binding skill that used magic power.
Its power made even Wight, an Undead, flinch and his body to stiffen. It was for only a few seconds but that was more than enough time for Byakko.
And so, he ran. The High Elf that was supporting Wight fired its rifle but the Byakko had read its mind beforehand and thus sidestepped the shot.
In the last few meters between Wight and Byakko, the latter leapt and brandished his prided claws. At the same time, he used his ability and read Wight’s mind; no matter what traps his enemy still had up his sleeves, he would now see through it.
He hadn’t use this ability until now due to his wariness on Wight.
Wight knew that the nature of his skill was the ability to read minds and yet urged him to use it, making him think that Wight had some kind of trap set up. However, he judged that whatever trap that might be, it wouldn’t be able to change his enemy’s fate even if it were to be activated now.
And so, he read Wight mind but…
“That was a bad move, Kohaku-dono.”
The most painful headache assaulted the Byakko. His brain screamed, unable to handle the load it had. His movements in disarray, his claws stopped at grazing just Wight’s robe. Even his landing was done wrong, making him crash to the ground.
There was a trap set, yes, but contrary to what he believed—one where it was active only for a moment of time—this one was always active.
“Wight, you, just how many…”
With the stiffness in Wight’s body gone, he prepared to use his flamethrower. Even if this chance was only for a moment, Wight’s speed was enough. And so, he pulled the trigger and unleashed the extremely high temperature flames.
These extremely high-temperature flames wrapped around the Byakko and yet did not instantly kill him. Still, these made use of napalm and thus would continue to burn until there was nothing left it could use as fuel. Even if it was him, there was no way he could just disregard the flames.
“It’s because I’m a commander. Even though I don’t have the strength of a soldier, I have my own means to fight.”
The trap on the Byakko’s ability to read minds was nothing special actually. His mind simply experienced an overload from being connected with the minds of over a hundred monsters all at once.
Wight, being the commander of the undead as he was, could share senses with his undead subordinates. This sharing of senses might feel similar to what the [Steel] Demon Lord and the Dwarf Smiths do but they were fundamentally different.
The difference being that while the others shared senses with their subordinates one at a time, Wight was continuously doing so with all of his undead subordinates at the same time.
“Kuhahahahaha! I might have underestimated you when I saw that you weren’t a warrior. I see, did I lose? …Like I’ll let that happen”
Still covered in flames, the Byakko took a step forward.
Could he somehow turn it into a tie by killing his opponent before the flames slowly burning him turn him into ash? It was hard even for him to tell. At his current state, if he were to brave the hail of bullets that were bound to come his way, he knew he won’t come out unscathed.
Moreover, for some time now, he had felt sluggish. This was due to the curse, the nerve gas, and other traps that were set.
He wasn’t even confident that he could evade the High Elf’s shooting anymore.
Meanwhile, Wight—without getting careless—readied his shotgun. He then raised his hand, signaling the Skeletons and the dwarf girl to appear.
The place they were hiding in was just barely outside of the Byakko’s detection range. Seeing that, the Byakko realized how much of his ability was analyzed: completely.
And soon, it seemed Wight was gonna pull the trigger.
It isn’t even a tie, it’s my complete loss. If only the [Steel] Demon Lord didn’t make me waste my trump card, I can turn my body into lightning and get rid of these flames. And while I’m at it, crush Wight with lightning-fast speed.
The Byakko thought so but then smiled; he accepted this fight knowing full well of his circumstances. It wasn’t like him to complain this late in the game.
Rather, I should think about something else. Can I really not use my trump card again with this wounded body?
In the face of death, he was strangely calm.
Wasn’t I the one that decided that limit? If the toll on my body and magic power is big, don’t I just have to minimize it as much as possible?
It was only for a moment but with his concentration at its highest, his life flashed before him. In it, his memory of every fight he has ever had flowed in his mind. By the end of it, he has thought up a new technique.
He began with the activation of the [White Tiger Lightning Blade] using the few remaining strength he had but instead of envisioning a blade, he imagined a needle.
Wounded all over, drained of magic power, and at the limits of his vitality, he was in a trance. He let go of all he could let go of and then moved like a flowing stream.
Silently in his heart, he uttered the new technique’s name. …[White Tiger Lightning Needle]
No one in the vicinity was able to grasp sight of him.
When Wight thought he heard an almost inaudible sound, his surroundings instantly flashed white. In the next moment, his lower body was gone and his upper body flew in the air.
Standing in his previous location was the figure of the Byakko, the flames on his body gone as well.
A moment later, the Dwarf Smith’s scream pierced the air.
As Wight’s upper body danced high in the air, waiting for gravity to pull it down, he uttered so in his mind:
Wight was an undead and was therefore able to escape instant death by the good fortune of having placed his soul core in his chest. If ever it was in the lower half of his body, he would have been gone along with that lower half.
However, his good fortune ended there. He felt cracks on his core and sensed he didn’t even have three minutes left before his demise.
He thought of things as fell, such as worrying whether the Dwarf Smith would do her role as the adjutant as was expected of her and escape with the troops.
He also found it more regrettable to not be able to accomplish his beloved lord’s command than dying itself. I have betrayed his expectations.
If he was a human, tears would have fallen on his cheeks already.
“Forgive me, my lord. Wait…”
As his consciousness was fading, he felt a powerful and yet warm magic power. I cannot be mistaken; this is… I see.
He thought so, smiled and then hit the ground.
Half-crazed, the Dwarf Smith and her troops fired their guns against the Byakko over and over again but to no avail; their enemy either repelled their bullets with his fur or simply avoided it.
A Skeleton fell. And then another.
A little later, the Byakko gouged the Dwarf Smith’s flesh and slammed her into a tombstone, her assault rifle blown somewhere else. She was a B rank monster and therefore managed to escape death but still, her wounds were deep.
She then took out the automatic weapon that was her sidearm and fired it. Naturally, it did no damage as well.
The Byakko then walked over to Wight’s upper body which had fallen somewhere close to where the Dwarf Smith currently was. In reaction, the Dwarf Smith forced her wounded body to rise and protect Wight. She took the weapon before him and pointed it against the Byakko.
“Don’t come any closer! I won’t let you kill Wight-sama!”
Seemingly annoyed by this, the Byakko brushed her away.
After her rolling and tumbling, the Dwarf Smith tried to rise up once more but was unable to do so; all she managed to lift was her head. Like so, she glared at the Byakko.
“Wight, it looks like I’ve won. You are strong. I apologize for underestimating you simply because you were a B rank and not a fighter.”
Those words were filled with respect towards Wight.
“Kohaku-dono, it’s troubling that you are under a misunderstanding.”
Byakko inclined his head in doubt.
“The victory of this match goes to me. I have accomplished my role.”
Wight calmly but also vigorously declared so. It was no bluff either. His role wasn’t to defeat the [Steel] Demon nor was it to repel the Byakko. Yes, his role was…
And then, she came.
Clad in strikingly violent winds, a blond-haired girl descended from the sky.
She was one of [Creation] Demon Lord Procell’s [Monsters of the Covenant]. She was the S rank Ancient Elf Aura.
Her main weapon, an anti-materiel rifle, was still on her back, unusable due to the pink mucus that had gotten inside it. Because of this, her fighting strength had fallen down considerably.
“Please be careful, Ancient Elf-sama. That monster, it can read minds!” said the Dwarf Smith to Aura who had just landed. To which Aura sweetly smiled and said:
“Is that so? Then, Tiger-san, I have something to say to you: I will now send you flying. Do not expect me to go easy since you’ve made me really angry; after all, you sullied someone I hold as a little sister.”
Both the Dwarf Smith and the Byakko was at a loss for words.
In the next moment, the wind blew, Aura vanished, and the Byakko was blown away.
The Byakko read Ancient Elf’s mind and knew that the attack was coming but even so, it was too fast for him to avoid. The knocked away Byakko adjusted his stance, improved his guard, glared at Aura, and admitted to himself that the girl before him was much quicker than he was.
And then, he who Wight believed to be the world’s strongest and best Demo Lord finally arrived. It was none other than Wight’s beloved lord, [Creation] Demon Lord Procell.
He proceeded as he concealed his seething anger within his gentle mannerism.
“Aura, please buy us some time. I’m going to talk with Wight.”
“Yes, my master. Please leave it to me; I’ll limit myself to buying you some time.”
He then gently held Wight—or what was left of him—in his arms.
“Good job, Wight. You’ve managed to hold on until I came back.”
“I am thankful for your words… Haha, for me to die in your arms, god too can be quite considerate.”
“What selfish things are you saying? I can’t let you die; you’re my right-hand man and you still have a lot of work to do for me.”
“My lord is quite the slave driver. How can I die after hearing such words?”
Wight’s existence was fading away. He felt he did not have much time left.
He opened his mouth and began with his lord’s proposal that he once before refused, all in order for him to stay by Procell’s side longer.
“I beseech you, my lord, to please use the power the Creator gave to you. I want to stay with you for a longer time. I hope you grant this selfish request of mine.”
“But of course, Wight. What would you like for your new body?”
When Wight heard this question, he looked at the Dwarf Smith and the tears falling on her cheeks.
“I want a strong body. A strong body not only to protect you but also to prevent your lovely subordinates from crying.”
“Understood. Anything else?”
Being asked for more, Wight smiled and then talked in an embarrassed voice.
“May I ask that you use your [Creation] medal? I want to be your monster in the truest sense. I have been hiding it all this time it but I was always envious and jealous of Kuina-sama and the others who were created with the [Creation] medal.”
“It’s surprising to hear you say those kind of words. Very well, I will grant your requests.”
Procell nodded and used the first of the two uses of his obtained power.
This power being the ability to temporarily turn a monster back into a medal and use this medal in a new [Synthesis].
He had obtained this power from the Creator as a reward for his performance in the side show on the evening party.
As was mentioned, there were only two uses available to him but not once did he hesitate to use it on his loyal follower.
He unleashed the power that had a name of…
Wight’s body turned into particles and then…