I confirmed the contents of the letter that came from a neighboring city’s feudal lord.
The phrasing was excessively overbearing but the contents written was easy enough to follow.
It must have been dismal to live in a savage land where the influence of the empire did not reach. However, rejoice and despair no more for His Majesty is benevolent; if you display for us your sincerity, His Majesty has permitted you to be under the empire’s protection. In the interim, soldiers whose task is to examine the real state of things will be dispatched three days later and you are therefore expected to prepare a proper welcome for them.
“It’s such a condescending way to write.”
The letter wasn’t wrong.
Avalon was indeed a city built in a land under the dominion of monsters and was therefore not under the rule of any country and were under the constant threat of attacks from monsters. Put in another way, we didn’t have a patron supporting us. It wouldn’t have been surprising to be attacked by whichever country.
That was where the “protection” came in. It might not have sounded so bad but broken down and simplified, it would.
“Accepting this will mean soldiers will be permanently stationed here and we will be essentially under the empire’s rule. We will be made to follow their policies. In exchange for their “protection”, we will be expected to hand over money and resources.”
Generally, we would have to pay a tax that the empire one-sidedly determined and also present the greater part of our produce.
The impact to smaller businesses would be significant in a negative way. Aside from imposing separate taxes on the smaller businesses, this proposal will make us lose even the ability to freely grant these businesses the right to conduct their businesses.
Probably, even the apples and the dwarven-made weapons would be demanded of us as additional offerings.
Additionally, we would be the ones to shoulder the expenses of the soldiers that would be permanently stationed here. Those soldiers’ behavior as well would negatively affect the other citizens.
“Well, this much is tolerable though.”
If we could peacefully conclude things with just this much, I thought that I wouldn’t mind silently abiding.
If I turned it down, we were liable to face an unknown number of beings called heroes. Some of these heroes might be from a neighboring country, sent to help aid the empire. Aside from the threat of the heroes, I would also like to avoid of the risk of being attacked by other Demon Lords just when we got exhausted from our fight with the humans.
Since we could just rebel after Avalon’s operation had stabilized and I had gained enough fighting force, pretending to have an allegiance for the empire wasn’t so bad.
Of course, I still intended to negotiate better terms for us but if during the whole affair, a line that I would determine beforehand was crossed, not even that temporary allegiance would happen and a show of force could not be helped.
Maybe we would even end up as the ones ruling over the neighboring city.
I decided that for the time being though, I should consult with Wight; that guy’s an all-around guy blessed even with a political sense.
…no, it’s better to do that tomorrow; tonight’s probably not a good time for him, I thought as I put away the letter.
The next morning came and I awoke in my bed.
I felt something soft and warm in my left arm. I discovered it was Kuina hugging my left arm tightly. Considering she was dressed with her favorite lovely pajamas while also showing a defenseless sleeping face, she looked completely like an angel.
I unconsciously brushed her face. Doing so, still sleeping, her facial reaction slackened.
By just seeing her like that, my will to endure and slog through the day was renewed.
“Master, Kuina, wake up. We have plans to go to the mines this morning.”
Rorono then entered my room.
“Thanks for coming to wake us, Rorono.”
“Mhm. Breakfast is already prepared.”
Rorono glanced with slight envy at Kuina who was still hugging my left arm.
Until recently, we all slept together in one bed but due to the several occasions of somebody being kicked out of the bed by Kuina’s tossing and turning as she slept, a shifting system was now in place to determine who would get to sleep beside me. The previous night was Kuina’s turn, the next night would be Aura’s and the night after that would be Rorono’s. I have to spoil Rorono as much as she wants on her turn.
Sleeping together with everyone all at once was great but sleeping with a different one each night was better. This way, I was able confirm each one’s individual and distinct charms.
“Thank you as always, Rorono.”
“Mhm. I am a dwarf so as long as it’s making something, whether food, weapons, or clothes, I’m fond of it.”
According to her, she was increasing her repertoire of cuisines that she could make through the cooking book I made with [Creation].
The taste was not yet up to par with a pro but my daughter’s home cooking would always bring extreme happiness to me.
“Then, let’s go. Though before that, we have to wake Kuina first, huh.”
And so, I poked Kuina’s squishy cheek. It was smooth, moderately elastic, and seemingly addictive.
After a while of poking her cheek, Kuina opened her eyes.
“Oto-san, good morning. Hmm, Oto-san’s scent.”
Kuina let go of my left arm but only to jump onto my chest where she pressed her cheek.
“You’re such a spoiled child, aren’t you? It can’t be helped then.”
I did not have the heart to tear Kuina away so I stood up with her still clinging onto me and moved to the kitchen where Aura was waiting for us.
After we finished our breakfast, I headed toward the [Mine] area with Rorono.
Kuina said she’ll visit the store tended by the Mythological Foxes while Aura said she was going to take care of a new fruit.
The [Mine] area was a secret so we went there while being mindful not to be seen by the public. I greeted the golems guarding the border of the dungeon rooms and then went inside.
An aspect of the Mine was that it was very wide. On the frontside were the hard minerals while at the back were the pools of lava.
“How is it? Has something changed since last we’ve been here?”
“Mhm. A considerably large scale crustal movement did occur. I wouldn’t know the exact figures unless I examine pretty deep down with my sonar but it looks like we can expect good results. This [Mine] has certainly grown.”
“I did level up a lot and have gotten stronger so yeah. Moreover, I have completed my [Monsters of the Covenant]. Even now, I can feel your power flowing into me.”
We usually set time and level up in the [Crimson Cavern]. However, since the monsters from [Crimson Cavern] were now in danger of extinction, we had chosen to then hunt only the ones that came out of the [Maelstroms].
Due to that, the amount of experience points that I gained in a day was limited.
However, thanks to the many high-ranking and high-leveled monsters we fought in the previous [War], I had leveled up a lot.
In addition, the completion of my [Monsters of the Covenant] was also a huge boost. A Demon Lord’s strength grew in proportion to his [Monsters of the Covenant]’s strength after all.
Finally, I thought, I can call myself a fully-fledged Demon Lord.
“I’m happy that master became stronger. Not only for the power up of the [Mine] but also for your safety. ………I’ll begin examining the ground, then. [Mineral Resonance]”
Rorono placed her hands on the ground and used earth magic.
By sending magic power of a special wavelength into the ground, she was able to examine whichever mineral was there. It was such a magic.
And using this magic, she could pinpoint the best mining points and what could be dug from it.
The magic’s effective range was 500 meters radius which of course included the underground. Meanwhile, a [Mine]’s greatest size was 2Km by 2Km. So to inspect the [Mine] in its entirety, we would have to use this magic multiple times at different locations.
“How is it, Rorono?”
“Mithril and gold can be gotten from this spot. There aren’t any orihalcum but the mithril deposits here has risen so this is good news.”
“Okay, onto the next spot, then. If the increase of mithril in the ground is any indication, we’re bound to find orihalcum soon.”
Rorono nodded to my statement in her usual expressionless face. Ever so slightly though, the corners of her mouth were raised. She must have been excited to get her hands on good materials; good raw materials were indispensable to blacksmiths after all.
Like that, we continued to inspect different spots. And then…
“Father, here. Orihalcum can be mined here! With this, the things that we can make will increase!”
She excitedly informed me so.
I was about to give up when we finally found some orihalcum at the last spot.
We still couldn’t mine any adamantite but adamantite was a metal used purely for their hardness whereas orihalcum was used for its high affinity with magic and was thus more important to us.
“That’s great news, Rorono”
“Mhm. It is indispensable for my [Mechanical Warmaiden] where mithril just won’t be enough. With orihalcum, I can repair it when it’s broken and even do some improvements on it. Come golems and focus digging at this spot!”
She ordered so and the golems under her command were summoned. They then immediately began to dig. When I looked closely, the shape of their hands was suited for mining.
After she became my [Monster of the Covenant], she became able to produce modified golems. In addition to the before-mentioned mining golems, she could also make transportation-focused golems that walked on four legs as well as kamikaze golems for suicide bombings, to name a few.
The span of our strategies had expanded along with the increase in variation of the golems. The more types of golems she could make, the more tricks we could pull. In line with that, we were continuously and repeatedly researching and experimenting on highly efficient golems.
“It seems like the golems have already dug out some orihalcum.”
When Rorono put the silver-colored orihalcum into her hand directed magic power into it, it began to change form through her special ability, the [Platinum Alchemist].
The liquefied orihalcum changed its shape according to Rorono’s desire. The unwanted impurities was then made to leak out.
Next, while she applied pressure through other kinds of earth magic, she enchanted it by adding in the magic seals into it.
Halfway through the manufacturing process, she took out mithril and silver from her pocket, liquefied it, and added it to the orihalcum. By turning into an orihalcum alloy, its performance increased.
If it was an ordinary blacksmith, the process would probably take them a few months whereas she finished it in just a few minutes with her magic.
As a finishing touch, the part of the handle was wrapped by the leather from a demonic beast. And so, two knives made of orihalcum alloy were created. They were small, easy to use, and looked good. Their blade was terribly thin.
The sheaths were premade ones from her pocket.
“Master, I have made these to commemorate the first time we were able to mine orihalcum. They’re thin and light but also very sharp. They’re made of an orihalcum alloy so despite their thinness, I can guarantee they are durable. I hope you will carry one with you.”
I accepted a knife from her.
When I picked it up, I was so surprised. It was as light as a feather. When I pulled it from its sheath, its blade reflected off the light so brightly. It was a devilish blade; just by looking at it, it felt as though my soul was being sucked in.
“I will. If it’s this, it should be easy to carry around. It’s a good knife.”
“Mhm. I’m glad you’re pleased with it.”
When I stored away my knife into my inner pocket, she did the same with hers.
Rorono acting as though we were mirroring each other was so cute.
“By the way, Rorono, have you ever heard of a metal better than orihalcum?”
“No. Is there such a thing?”
“I’ve come to recently think that there might be. The metals that could be gotten from a [Mine] were proportional to a Demon Lord’s strength and the currently highest ranking metal is orihalcum. I most likely am the only Demon Lord that can make S rank monsters so the power I can get from my [Monsters of the Covenant] should be far greater than what any Demon Lord can get from theirs. By the time the three of you have grown to your fullest, I would be stronger than any current Demon Lord. If that’s so, it wouldn’t be so weird for us to be able to mine a metal that no one else has seen before, right?”
I thought that such a thing wasn’t really outside the realm of possibilities. As long as it was my lovely daughters, I had the expectation that they would bring me to heights no one has been before.
“It certainly is likely. It’ll be great if it does happen. A weapon made from a metal higher ranking than orihalcum… I want to make that someday with my own hands, the ultimate weapon.”
She was in trance as she thought of that metal.
I then lightly brushed her head. Realizing she drifted off in her musings, her face grew red.
“We’ve done what we came for so shall we head back?”
“Mhm. Master, I will do my best for us to get the highest ranking metal ever. I will make stronger and easier to use weapons for Kuina and Aura so that they can become stronger and be closer to that metal.”
Since she was saying it like that, I had no doubt in my heart that she would make it come true.
“Yeah, I expect much from you, Rorono. I know you can do it.”
While she tried to hide her face that reddened, I held her hand and we walked to the outside. By becoming able to obtain a steady supply of orihalcum, my monsters would grow even stronger.
Also, I had decided that if Rorono had the time to spare, I would request of her a weapon of my own.
After all, it was a matter of honor for a Demon LordFather to be able to could protect his children. And for that, I needed a powerful weapon.
Note: I have changed [Silver Alchemist] to [Platinum Alchemist]. Also, I might change the m’lady Wight uses for Dwarf Smith to Miss. Wight uses レディ/Lady but it seems kind of cringy, I guess, even after considering it’s Wight.