Within his crystal room located in the depths of his dungeon, The [Evil] Demon Lord Morax who looked like a humanoid demon was enjoying his glass of wine. To go along with his drink were the images being projected by the crystal.
The images he saw showed the first room of his dungeon being turned into a sea of flames.
“Hmm, so it has come to this.”
He was aware that [Creation] Demon Lord Procell was strong. He acted prudently and thus teamed up with two other Demon Lords to wage war on Procell. Despite all that however, Procell’s strength far exceeded any of their expectations.
At the moment, [Viscosity] Demon Lord Ronove’s dungeon was also being invaded; the monsters gathered on the first room of his dungeon were being trampled and were about to grant easy access to the next room.
It was an unbelievable simultaneous conquest of two dungeons.
Already, their team’s plan had collapsed. This plan detailed that should one of their dungeons be attacked, the forces from the other two’s dungeon were to go out and invade Procell’s dungeon.
“This, none of us could have predicted this. Well, maybe someone could have if someone like [Time] was the enemy.”
Morax uttered so as he watched the scenes being projected by Ronove’s crystal that was then transmitted by the demon he lent to Ronove. This demon was one of a quadruplet of demons. Ronove and Zagan was led to believe that the demons lent to them were convenient means of communicating with one another but the truth of the matter wasn’t so simple.
The quadruplets were constantly sharing what they sensed with one another. In other words, everything that was transpiring near the demons were being leaked to Morax.
The three allied Demon Lord each had one of these demons while the last one was entrusted to an ally Ronove truly trusted. This was to ensure that any information revealed in this war would be shared to that ally no matter what happens to Morax.
“[Creation]’s ability is worrisome.”
Procell’s fox monster had annihilated Ronove’s main host of monsters with just one blow. Furthermore, this monster was accompanied by another monster of about the same strength. Perhaps even the monster loaned to Ronove by a veteran Demon Lord would not be able to stop the invading monsters. Ronove was not at all at fault here; the enemy was just too strong.
More troubling was that Morax’s own dungeon was under attack by griffons and their mysterious ordnance. High ranking, powerful monsters were one thing—for as much of a threat they were, their numbers were certain to be limited and in truth, Procell only had three truly peerless monsters—but for weak, low ranking monsters to be made to have such frightening offensive capabilities, it was a whole other conversation.
Given time, Procell would be able to earn even more DP and if so, it was only reasonable for the griffons and also the golems that obliterated [Wind]’s monsters to increase in numbers as well. Not to mention, Procell probably had other powerful cards at his disposal.
If left unchecked, Procell would undoubtedly be up to par if not stronger than even Demon Lords several generations ahead of him. And that would certainly result in some wrinkle in Morax’s own ambitions in the future.
“We want to see him crushed, was it?”
Instilled with that desire, Zagan, a fool that believed himself to be surperior, was goaded into starting this three on one war and employing a method that was almost like cheating. Should such a method be found to indeed be in violation of the rules after the war has ended, Zagan would be deemed the primary instigator and be given heavy punishment while Morax should only receive minor ones.
Morax thought everything would go smoothly but then he never imagined Procell was this too out of norm. He realized then how naïve he still was and how much he still had to learn.
As it was, his crystal being broken was a certainty. So long as that remained as a fact, he had to think of ways to lose with minimal damage.
While pondering on such, the demon spoke. It seemed to be Zagan who was contacting him.
“Morax, what are you doing? I heard from Ronove that he was being attacked by Procell. I’ve already ordered my monsters to march onto his dungeon; hurry and order your monsters to do the same.”
Zagan had a stupid look on his face as he instructed Morax so. This guy’s really the go-with-the-flow kind of guy, Morax thought, well, it was because he’s an idiot that I was able to instigate him into this war so I guess whatever I say will not really matter. Though I guess I’m a fool as well for misjudging my opponent’s strength.
“I would very much like to but my main force gathered on my first room have been annihilated. Despite splitting his troops to attack my dungeon at almost the same time as he’s attacking Ronove’s, his fighting force is still more than adequate. Procell’s quite the cheat.”
Zagan’s face immediately turned pale. It seemed that the shock was too much for a cowardly person like him. He blinked repeatedly and sweated profusely in his bewilderment but Morax did not have the luxury of time to wait for Zagan to recover from his shock.
“This is beyond what we predicted. [Steel] Demon Lord Zagan, what will our next course of action be? Will you invade his dungeon by yourself?”
The reply did come right away. Zagan repeatedly opened and closed his mouth, groaned, and then finally came to a realization.
“N-no way. [Viscosity] said his main force have already been massacred as well. That bastard Procell has to leave some of his troops for defense so are you saying he had enough troops to not only defend but to also win against two dungeons!?”
“I’m afraid so. Perhaps he saw through our strategy and as a form of defense, decided to go on the offensive. If so and he took out our troops gathered in the first room, he would then have fewer enemies to fend off. Really, Procell-dono is quite the schemer. So, what’s our next play? ”
“Th-that bastard Procell, h-he had more troops than we thought. Our initial plan as it is of no use, absolutely wasted. Yeah, yeah, that’s it, let’s fortify our defense as we revise our strategy.”
Fortify our defense? While we revise our strategy? What is this guy saying?? Wondered Morax as he tried so very hard from cursing at him. I knew he was an idiot but I didn’t think he’d be this much of an idiot!
Focusing on defense now would only give Procell the time to eventually finish conquering their dungeons and therefore the chance to recall back the troops he sent out. Even a monkey could see that so is he stupider than one?
“Hmm. I will try to buy you time as much as I can but sooner or later, Procell will break through. [Viscosity] probably won’t hold on for long either. By defeating us, he would then be able to repurpose all of his troops. So the question now is, do you have the confidence to take on his dungeon by yourself?”
Morax knew this war was already a lost cause. That much was pretty certain but he couldn’t very well do nothing and let the following developments be boring either for that would mean that the Creator would be bored. And if that Creator was bored of watching a lame [War], the punishment—determined by him—for the losers would of course be heavier.
According to his parent, the Creator’s train of thought was plain and simple: anything goes so long as it was entertaining.
With that in mind, they had to at least give [Creation] Demon Lord Procell a challenge. If they failed to make this [War] a good show, it wouldn’t matter who the main instigator was, all that would await Morax would be ruin.
“Invade by myself? Th-that would be a little hard”
“Ohh, only a little hard? So you can do it and win? As expected of the [Steel] Demon Lord Zagan”
“We-well, you know, my unique skill [Steel] is strong and suited for battle, after all.”
The glass of wine Morax held then showed cracks. It seemed that pretty soon, he would have reached the limits of his patience.
The [Steel] unique skill involved metal purification and metal manipulation. Also, depending on the magic power expended, Zagan could make metals with his unique skill. He boasted that he could make a fist-sized lump of orihalcum if he used up all of his magic power. It seemed he even equipped some monsters with weapons that used orihalcum as a material.
What the heck, if you want orihalcum, you could just buy it with DP via a [Mine]. Not to mention, Procell’s monsters have countless ridiculous weapons.
“If you’ll have my opinion, I think that if ever we’re going on the offensive, it has to be now. Even by yourself, you should head to Procell’s now less guarded dungeon.”
This was their only play; no matter how much they wait, they would not find a better chance than now. At least now, all three of Procell’s monsters were deployed outside of the dungeon.
“B-but that bastard is absolutely hiding something in there. We have to first investigate what that is and then form a plan about it.”
Resisting the urge to ask him how much time do you intend to waste, Morax instead decided to move the conversation.
“Assuming so and if you have any worries about invading by yourself, you should deploy the A rank monster lent to you.”
“But then what if he invades my dungeon instead?”
“By the time Procell could afford to invade your dungeon, we would have already lost. Upon conquering my and Ronove’s dungeons, I’m guessing he’s gonna fortify defense and forego attacking unless everything’s perfect.”
Does he not comprehend even this!?
Once again, Morax suppressed what he wanted to say.
Patience, a little more patience.
“A-alright but I have a condition. Give to me the monster that was lent to you. Even if it’s that guy, he can’t possibly take on all of my best troops and two fully-leveled A rank monsters.”
Phew, finally, he realized it.
Morax could have proposed so from the start but due to Zagan’s inexplicably high pride, he was unable to accept and go along with strategies suggested by another. It was better to let him think he thought of the plan himself.
“That’s a good idea, yeah. I’ll make it transfer there. I’ll also hand over the right of control to you so that it won’t vanish even if my crystal is broken.”
Each of them had placed transfer arrays on each other’s dungeons. If they made use of it, they could then safely lend monsters to their allies.
That said, there was only one monster that could use [Transfer] and that monster could, at most, only transfer five human-sized individuals at a time. Because it would eventually run out of magic power in three roundtrips, they couldn’t afford to use the monster carelessly.
“Be thankful for I shall do my best to fill the shortcomings of the two of you. I will break that bastard’s crystal and win this war. Fufu, fufufu. Yes, I alone will invade his dungeon; I will show you all my courage and might!”
“Amazing. I’ll try to hold out for as long as I can and keep him from recalling his troops back to his dungeon but I hope you win this quickly.”
Deep inside, Morax was ridiculing Zagan. That isn’t courage; unless he had such strong monsters by his side, he wouldn’t be this confident. Really, after relying so much on others…
With that, their chances of defeat went down from a hundred percent to an eighty percent. They were desperate, yes, but the plan they thought up was surprisingly not too bad.
As soon as the A rank monster was given to Zagan, they concluded their communication. He probably thought it was troublesome to return the demon but due to that alone, information kept being sent to Morax.
“Now then, shall we get this final struggle started?”
Morax took out his Demon Lord book and using as much of the remaining points he had, he increased the floors his dungeon had and bought a labyrinth room that was as large and complicated as possible.
If a room was too wide, monsters would have a hard time intercepting invaders. Furthermore, such a room would make the dungeon unpopular to the adventurers and that would normally only be a bad thing. This however wasn’t the time to mind such things. If Morax could gain even just a second of time, it would also buy Zagan an additional second, thus increasing the likelihood of conquering Procell’s dungeon.
“What would I do once Procell reaches me?”
Surrendering immediately would allow him to keep his life. His crystal would be broken resulting in him losing all the monsters he had made up until that point and his dungeon disappearing. But that loss was tolerable for, fortunately, he hadn’t chosen anyone to be his [Monster of the Covenant].
Demon Lords could live for as long as three hundred years and he would only be inactive for about nine months of those 300 years—nine months being the time he would have to wait for a new crystal to be given to him if his current one was indeed broken this war. After that, he would go independent and rebuild.
He would look at this as the price to be paid for him to learn and grow stronger. Even if it took him decades, he would bounce back from this.
“Let me learn everything I could about you, [Creation] Demon Lord Procell.”
And thus, he gathered the information from the quadruplet demons.
After a while, the Orihalcum Gargoyle lent to [Viscosity] was defeated. Seeing that, [Evil] was convinced that handing the A rank monster who was the center of his defense over to Zagan was the correct decision. It was far better to use it offensively than for it to be kept within his dungeon.
As he casually watched the scenes unfolding in the screen, he noticed the blond elf.
She was beautiful and was appealing to the eyes.
Using DP and medals were not the only ways to increase one’s number of monsters. Other methods included the copulation of monsters of the same race and thus bearing a child; the usage of a corpse for undead monsters; the natural splitting of the monster as was the case for monsters like the slimes; and of course, for some demons and demon beasts, the usage of the females of another race to give birth to a new kind of monster.
[Evil] possessed the ability to make use of latter.
In fact, a good number of his subordinate monsters were born from human adventurers. The more magic power the individual had, and the more attuned the said individual was to [Holy], the stronger the newly born monster was.
So, when he saw that elf, he couldn’t help but gulp down. That elf was the ideal candidate to be a mother to his monsters. Monsters born out of her could possibly be extremely fantastic. His intuition and the sensation in his loins was enough for him to prove that point.
I want to try her, I want to try her so bad.
If he confronted them head on, he would probably be crushed in an instant but if he could catch them off guard, then maybe… He still had enough monsters to accomplish that.
No, wait, settle down. I can’t risk provoking [Creation] Demon Lord Procell here and now. Calm down, I have to calm down. I’ll buy as much time but once they’ve reached me here, I’ll say I was tricked by the [Steel] Demon Lord and beg them to forgive me enough to spare my life. Procell who has softness in his heart should spare me.
“I… I can’t endure it anymore”
Thinking about it, going along with that idiot brought me considerable stress. Maybe I can enjoy myself even if only a little.