The war ended with our resounding victory. We had satisfied the condition of breaking all of our enemy Demon Lords’ crystal.
Before me, my lovely girls were embracing one another and cheering.
While Wight who became a dragonewt had his arms crossed and was nodding in satisfaction.
By the way, [Steel] Demon Lord Zagan distanced himself by dragging his injured body. He then leaned his back on a tombstone and used his ability to make artificial arms made out of mithril which he then attached at his shoulders. He was an unexpectedly skillful person. Truly, a Demon Lord of [Steel].
Normally, at the end of a war, we were supposed to be transferred to each of our own dungeons but there were no signs of that happening anytime soon.
It was futile to think of the reason why; no one could ever tell what goes on that capricious Creator’s mind after all.
In the meantime, I decided to check on our status.
“Kuina, Wight, come here.”
I called over Kuina and Wight, the commanders of the first corps and of the defensive corps, respectively.
I was referring to him as Wight even though he was no longer a Wight but rather a black dragon of death, a Siegwurm. By all rights, I should be calling him that but it just felt more fitting to call him Wight. I decided that I would continue to do so until I have given him his name.
“Oto-san, I’m here!”
“How may I serve you, my lord?”
The two of them came as soon as I called.
In Kuina’s case, however, she took the chance to embrace my right arm as she arrived. She must have been so lonely being separated from me. Such a cute girl.
“The two of you are the commanders of your respective corps. I would like to have your reports now. First, Kuina of the first corps. It seems you’ve broken the enemy’s crystal but are there any casualty?”
Kuina was in charge of the High Elves and the remaining monsters made from imitation medals. With Kuina and Rorono around, I thought it was unlikely to have casualties but it was better to be sure.
“There were some children that got injured but those injuries were light and they have already eaten Elf-chan’s apples so they’ll recover in time. No casualties.”
I was relieved to hear that. I see, so they’ve finished their mission without casualties.
“Okay but what about the [Viscosity] Demon Lord?”
“We didn’t kill him. Since there was a monster almost as strong as Kuina in the deepest part of [Viscosity]’s dungeon, we promised not to kill him in exchange for telling us why a monster like that was there. Oto-san, our enemies were so sneaky! They all got monsters from their parent Demon Lords! They went around the rules by getting a monster from another’s parent!”
It all made sense to me when I heard that. I had seriously doubted [Steel] was able to make a monster such as Byakko; he was too strong. If he fought Kuina or the others seriously in a one on one match, I was not confident they would win.
“So their alliance each got a monster as strong as Byakko? And you defeated one? That’s amazing.”
I proceeded to stroke her head. Her fox ears and her soft hair felt good.
As she narrowed her eyes, she spoke.
“Oto-san, the one that defeated the strongest monster wasn’t Kuina; it was Rorono-chan. Incredible power awoke within Rorono-chan when she became Oto-san’s [Monster of the Covenant]! Give her lots of praise later.”
“I will praise her later. But for now, I must praise Kuina who has dutifully done her role as a commander, right?”
Kuina, due to being in a better mood, tightened her embrace. I decided that I would brush her tail later in the evening. She did like it when I do that.
“Next, Wight, tell me of the damages on your end.”
“Yes. 24 Skeletons have fallen for our cause. However, I have resurrected 20 of them when I was still a Wight. The other four were revived with my Enhanced Resurrection ability that I got when I became a Siegwurm.”
Just as a Wight had the ability to resurrect fallen monsters, a Siegwurm did too. In addition, this resurrection ability even made monsters stronger than they were before their demise.
It was not without fault, however. Whereas a Wight’s ability could resurrect an individual any number of times, a Siegwurm’s Enhanced Resurrection could only ever be used on a monster once, thus demanding a more cautious approach in battle.
“I see, you did well on enduring the enemy siege without any casualties.”
It was precisely because of Wight and his resurrection ability that the defense pulled through with no casualties.
“I am grateful for your praise. However, the golems and the weapons did suffer immense damage. 30 golems were destroyed. As for the weapons, 4 heavy-machineguns and 10 flamethrowers were broken while 25 assault rifles were damaged. Forgive me, my lord, for allowing your fighting force to be reduced.”
“We can always make golems and guns as much as we want. Rather, I’m proud of you for putting priority on the lives of the monsters. Truly, nothing less from my right-hand man.”
It was much better than being the other way around where the golems and weapons were used sparingly but monsters were lost left and right.
It was because Wight understood and practiced this sentiment that I could rely on him.
“My, I am thankful for your words. I will continue to devote myself for you, my lord, now more than ever.”
And then he did an elegant bow. It was a gesture I had grown familiar with from when he was still a Wight.
But when he did so as he was now—a good-looking, middle-aged dragonewt gentleman—it felt just right.
If I was perhaps a woman, I might have fallen for him.
And so, I continued to listen to his detailed report: the damages to the dungeon, how the traps were used, and how the enemies reacted to it, and so on.
Actual battles offered the perfect opportunity to conduct experiments whose results were the best materials we could learn from. In order to make our dungeon stronger, we had to obtain as much first-hand information as possible.
As we were doing so, a young woman appeared.
She was a strong-willed, green-haired girl from the same generation as I was in. She was [Wind] Demon Lord Stolas who I had asked to be at standby in my crystal room as my insurance.
“That was a terrific battle, Procell. I thought your ingenuity was already two levels above mine but never did I thought you were more creative than that.”
“Was it of any help?”
“Yes. Of course it’s impossible to implement your tactics unchanged but your way of thinking, attitude, and many other things have served as references for me. Thanks to those, I’ve gotten a few ideas of my own.”
As expected of Stolas; she really was proactive and hard-working.
“That’s good. But then, I’ve exposed nearly all of the cards in my hand so having a fight with you right now is a little frightening.”
“Dismiss the thought. ……the way I see it, for me to challenge you into a war, I would have to be missing two or three screws in my head. In the first place, I think of you as a friend; if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have left my own dungeon and come here. But then again, if you target and fight for my [Wind], then that will be a whole other conversation, now wouldn’t it?”
“I’m not that ungrateful. Besides, I too think of you as a friend.”
Killing a friend for the sake of one’s lust for power, that was not how a Demon Lord* should conduct himself.
Note: Demon Lord here is also noted as person (ひと).
“We’re friends… that sounds good. …but in the end, there was no real meaning in me coming here. Rather than helping you out, I ended up being the only one that benefitted by learning things. I’m a little ashamed.”
“Don’t be. It’s because I had you as my last line of defense that I was able to boldly go on the offensive. Even I wouldn’t have sent out my three trump cards—Kuina, Rorono, and Aura—without any kind of insurance.”
My strategy this time centered on Wight but even if he and the unused absolute defense third room were to be defeated, there was still Stolas as my last line of defense.
Her very presence alone contributed to my strategy.
“I will gratefully accept those words, then. But those disqualify you as a Demon Lord, you know? You should feign ignorance and then talk to me about how you didn’t owe me any favors.”
“When you put it that way, you’re the same. There’s no need for you to talk about how you weren’t able to help around; you should emphasize the very fact that you came to help.”
We both looked at each other’s faces and laughed. We were friends so we talked about everything with complete honesty and that’s more than enough, if you ask me.
“Procell, your Wight… no, your Siegwurm, may I talk to him for a while?”
“I don’t mind but why?”
“There’s just a little something on my mind.”
Stolas then turned serious and looked at Wight.
Upon my agreement, she headed to where he was.
“How do you do, Stolas-sama?”
“I am not your master; there’s no need to humble yourself.”
“But you are my lord’s close friend. Any discourtesy towards you will reflect badly on my lord.”
Upon hearing his words, Stolas laughed a little.
“Fufu. You are an interesting one, aren’t you? Almost enough for me to want to scout you over to my side.”
Those probably were serious words.
Wight was an extraordinary fellow. From the start, his ingenuity separated him from the rest but now it was even combined with high-ranking combat power.
“Ahem. Hey, do you feel any strangeness in your body? Has anything changed compared from when you were a Wight? It’s fine to tell me anything, even trivial things.”
“…That’s a tricky question to answer, isn’t it? My very race has changed so every single thing about me is new. I always have to keep [Berserk] under control so that’s just about all the discomfort I have, if that’s what you’re asking about.”
“I see… it’s great if those are the only changes you have.”
“Stolas, why are you so invested on Wight?”
“It’s because you’ve used [Rebirth] on him. My parent, [Dragon] Demon Lord Astaroth-sama, warned me about it. He said that it was too strong and too convenient and that there was no way that unreasonable person that loves to perplex and trouble us Demon Lords—that twisted Creator—would give Demon Lords something just to please us. My parent then went on about how there some kind of trap in this reward.”
My own parent, [Beast] Demon Lord Marcho, had said something similar. For two of the three living strongest Demon Lords to warn us so, it could not be ignored.
Thus, I decided to keep an eye on Wight for a time.
“Wight, if you feel something unusual, no matter how little, be sure to let me know.”
“Certainly, my lord.”
Wight obediently agreed.
I might have been a bit rash in using this power on Wight but had I not done so, I would have lost him. Due to that, I was in a position where I must thank the Creator… even if sometime later, something were to happen.
“Stolas, if something were to happen Wight, I will inform you immediately via a letter.”
“Thanks. I guess if after a while nothing happens to him, I’ll go and use Rebirth as well… honestly, I really want that power.”
“Yeah, it’s so strong.”
Two of Stolas’s [Monsters of the Covenant] were B rank monsters. Her desire to use [Rebirth] should be far greater than mine.
As I was thinking the Transfer sure is taking its time…
<<Children of the Planet, normally, this is where it ends but it’s amusing… Ahem. As a reward to everyone for entertaining me so much, let us have a pleasant chat. I invite you all into my round table. None may refuse; this is my command.>>
Before I could utter a question or complaint, my mind was assailed by a shock and my consciousness began to fade.
It was a sensation I had grown quite familiar with: the signs of Transfer.
When I next opened my eyes, I found myself seated at a prepared large, round table.
When I looked at my surroundings, [Steel] Demon Lord Zagan, [Viscosity] Demon Lord Ronove, and [Wind] Demon Lord Stolas were there.
And then, a dreadful, threatening, and malicious feeling filled the air. With eyes filled with the intent to kill for deceiving him, [Viscosity] glared at [Steel] and then shouted, expressing in words his intent.
[Steel], however, just glared at Stolas.
As that went on, spotlights then focused at the head of the table.
Pompous music then began to play, along with the blinking of the lights. The whole thing came off cheap and patronizing to me.
And then, he appeared.
His whole body was clad in a robe of black and gold; his hair and beard were long and white; his skin was wrinkled; and his arms, gnarled.
He looked old but still gave off a mysterious, awe-inducing, and frightening impression.
“Well now, this is my first time to show this form. I am the Creator. I am the true parent of all of you. Now, use this place that I have prepared to deepen your closeness with one another.”
Like that, all the Demon Lords that were here but did not really want to be began to talk.