The envoys from the neighboring city had come and gone. I had endured their visit without any major incident. With that over, I began my earnest preparation for a war.
Three days had passed since the envoys left but we still haven’t heard anything from the other party.
In war, what mattered most were intelligence and numbers, both of which I had committed myself to obtain.
Intelligence was the analysis of the opponent’s fighting force and their usage of it. Through the [Common Knowledge] given to me upon my birth, I understood that beings called heroes and champions could match or even defeat A rank monsters. However, I didn’t know how many of those beings a human city could deploy. Ten? A hundred? Or maybe a thousand? My strategy could completely change depending on that information.
My inexperienced self was unable to make a clear judgement. Due to that, I had sent out a letter to Marcho, my parent, expressing my desire to talk with her about my present situation. I intended to go to her dungeon as soon as I hear back from her.
Certainly, my monsters were outrageously strong. However, they were only a few of them. If the enemy decided to simultaneously attack from all directions, there would no doubt be gaps in our defenses.
So for that reason, I wanted to increase our numbers no matter how little.
Our numbers was the main reason I wanted to buy time.
Due to the increase of the number of humans currently living in Avalon, the founding of the brothels, gambling houses, and other such facilities that intensified the swing of emotions, I was earning about 2,000 DP a day, give or take.
It was almost equivalent to being able to buy two B rank monsters daily. As for the kinds of B rank monsters I could buy, there was the Mythological Fox that was unlocked when I created Kuina the Celestial Fox, the Dwarf Smith when I made Rorono, and the High Elves when I synthesized Aura.
Additionally, when Wight was reborn to be a Siegwurm, I was able to buy the Graphross(グラフロス), the darkness dragon.
Each and every one of these monsters was strong and had their own merits.
Moreover, Rorono could make a Mithril Golem that was as strong as a B rank monster once per day. Meanwhile, the four Dwarf Smiths could each make a C-rank-equivalent Silver or Gold Golem daily.
So, supposing I could earn a month’s time of peace, I would, in total, have 90 B-rank-equivalent units and 120 C-rank-equivalent units added to my fighting force. Also, if a month did pass, I would then have another [Creation] medal and be able to make a new S rank monster with that medal.
As time passes, the odds of victory in this potential war was leaning more and more in my favor. It was due to this that I was willing to endure the humiliation and bow my head to those soldiers.
“But just winning isn’t enough. I have to win completely.”
The greatest worry I have next to having my crystal broken was having our city—which would have to stay above ground—destroyed. Even if the buildings and infrastructures could be repaired, the same couldn’t be said of the humans.
When that happens, it’s all over. I would no longer be able to feed on human emotions and thus also no longer able to acquire DP.
Considering that, I should take the fight outside of the city…
“But then that would be a waste”
I was in a dilemma.
Taking the fighting outside of the city was the optimal choice but I would not get any emotions or DP even if my monsters killed all of the humans. This was due to the fact that the only ways to obtain DP outside of one’s dungeon was by killing an enemy yourself or being part of a party with a maximum of ten members.
That would render almost all of the potential DP to be wasted. And so, a war where I wouldn’t be able take home the hard-earned DP and human emotions was something I wanted to avoid.
On the other hand, I couldn’t simply relocate the city by swapping floors since unlike during wars with my fellow Demon Lords, time didn’t stop for the humans. So if I did swap the dungeon floors, the city would certainly be exposed.
While thinking I have to think of some other way, I headed to Rorono’s workshop.
Recently, she had completely stopped her production of the Mithril Golems. Additionally, almost all of the golems she made previously had disappeared from the city and were replaced by the Gold and Silver Golems made by the Dwarf Smiths.
The Mithril Golems were extremely valuable members of our fighting force even with their numbers reduced by the last [War].
“I don’t think that girl’s the kind to skip on her duties though….”
I highly valued Rorono’s diligence. For her to disregard her duty, my orders, there must be a serious reason, I thought.
Moreover, she hadn’t returned to our house recently. As her Demon LordFather, it was my duty to know about her situation.
“It’s Procell. I’m coming in.”
I announced myself so and entered her workshop.
The Dwarf Smiths were busy forging the mass-production type swords and repairing the equipment of the adventurers.
By Rorono’s request, I had increased the Dwarf Smith’s count from two to four but even that seemed lacking.
...I should add some more, huh.
They were an essential part of my fighting force. I saw no particular reason to hesitate in adding some more.
“Is Rorono here?”
In response to my question, a silver-haired, brown-skinned girl came to answer. It was Wight’s adjutant.
“Procell-sama, welcome and thank you for gracing us. The mistress1 is inside the laboratory. Ah, that’s right. Ahm, Procell-sama, if you don’t terribly mind, may I ask that you bring something to the mistress?”
Rorono was referred to by the Dwarf Smiths as their mistress since she thoroughly but also kindly imparted to them techniques regarding their craft. It certainly fitted her.
“Bread and apple?”
“Yes, it’s her meal. In the past five days, the mistress have shut herself in the laboratory. Not once had she come out, not even for her meals. We’ve been strictly instructed to not go in there which worries us even more. But if it’s Procell-sama, I thought she wouldn’t mind being given this meal. So, please, Procell-sama, give it to her.”
I wryly smiled.
As I expected, Rorono wasn’t skipping on her duties. Rather, she was working hard on something. Something that she still haven’t completed after completely secluding herself for the past five days.
I was looking forward to what that something was.
And so, I entered the laboratory that was in the inner part of the workshop.
In there, I took notice of the running gasoline-fueled power generator. Meanwhile, Rorono was busy fiddling with six PCs one after another.
My [Creation] could only make things that were in my memory. Regarding supercomputers, I knew of their existence, yes, but only that so [Creation] wasn’t able to make them. To compensate for the lack of processing power, Rorono tackled it with quantity like so.
“As I thought, the basic theory is spot on. All that’s left now is to have two to match. Just a little bit more.”
Rorono did a monologue as she bit on her nail.
Maybe it was because she was too focused but she didn’t even notice I was there.
When I shifted my gazed on her foot, there was a magic tool that seemed to be able to hold two orbs. Also on the floor were dozens of golem cores.
“On adjusted values, A-17 and B-18 have the best wavelength compatibility but their outputs don’t match. Stressing stability, C-34 and A-8? No. They don’t reach the control values.”
She continued to restlessly move her eyes and hands on the keyboards of the PCs. But then she stood up, only to lose her balance. So, I hastily caught her before she crashed into the ground.
“Are you ok?”
Maybe it was because she was surprised but she called me Father.
“I was worried about you so I came here.”
“Mhm. Thank you for coming here, master. I was just working overtime.”
After saying so, she smiled, stood up, and took a deep breath.
“I know you’re busy on your research but can you spare me a little time?”
“Yes of course, master, but let me first just finish with a few more sets of measurements and calculations. Let’s talk while waiting for the process to finish.”
She was tired enough to lose her balance and yet… really now, this girl.
“Okay, I don’t mind. Just tell me what you’re up to once you’re finished, okay?”
“Mhm. I will.”
She said so and then placed a golem core into her seemingly self-made measuring apparatus that was connected to a PC. On the PC, she ran a self-made program and worked on it.
Over time, I had already grown accustomed to the sight of her perfectly using the PC.
“Done. I will explain everything now, master.”
“Before that, let’s take a little break.”
I gathered the piles of plans on top of a table, moved it elsewhere, and, through [Creation], took out a set of choice honey cookies and cocoa.
“But the time—”
“You have worked so hard that you almost fell down. A tired mind is an inefficient one. So, rest. This is a command. Settle down and enjoy your sweet snack and warm drink.”
When she heard me say that, she was shocked for a moment but then nodded and began to eat a cookie.
As she nibbled on her food, I noticed her face had subtly slackened. It was a response of hers when she found her food to be delicious.
She looked so cute, just like a tiny animal. Looking at her like that filled my heart with joy.
“Master, it’s hard to eat when you look at me so keenly.”
She protested as her face reddened.
“Sorry, you were just so cute. I’ll be careful not to stare.”
“Uuh, that’s even more embarrassing.”
I faintly smiled and refrained myself to just stealing glances of her every now and then.
Like so, we peacefully passed the time.
“So, just what were you working on?”
A little while after she finished the cookies and drank her cocoa, I spoke.
“A golem that would surpass a Mithril Golem.”
Her words had a profound impact on me. After all, an A rank monster couldn’t be easily obtained, not even by me. Sure, my [Creation] medal could guarantee it but that would mean the consumption of that medal along with at least one original medal of another Demon Lord.
If we could steadily produce golems as strong as an A rank monster, being the strongest Demon Lord was guaranteed.
“Is that kind of thing possible?”
“It’s difficult but possible. But then again, I alone wouldn’t have been enough; there were far too many calculations required in the design of it. However, thanks to the tools you gave me and this laboratory environment, I could realize it.”
I looked in her eyes and saw her strong pride in her ability.
“So, how are you going to do it, exactly?”
“To begin with, the golem core is the one responsible for converting the surrounding’s mana into energy that is then made to resonate with a mineral. This process is how a golem is made. The reason why I could only make golems as strong as B rank monsters is due to the output of the golem cores being insufficient. The more magic power a mineral can hold, the greater the energy produced needed to be. The cores I make can resonate with mithril or something less while the ones made by the Dwarf Smiths can’t resonate at all with minerals that can hold magic power.”
“Then, why not just increase the output of the golem cores?”
“The cores can’t be altered upon making them and even after that.”
“If the output of the core itself isn’t enough, we can just make use of two.”
I unintentionally leaked out a chuckle. When she said it, I realized how awfully simple it was.
“That makes sense. But then, that seems like it’s something we can easily implement.”
“……It’s actually not as easy as it initially sounds. If two cores with differing wavelengths and outputs are used to resonate with a mineral at the same time, they will cancel each other’s power out; instead of increasing, the total output will fall down. Also, this process tend to break the cores and the lump of mineral involved.”
“We can’t have that. What method have you thought up, then?”
“The Twin Drive System.”
She informed me so. There was a certain charm to her words.
“I stol… Ahem. I thought the idea up when I was watching the anime in the DVD master made to kill time.”
It reminded me of that experiment I tried before. The said DVD was one of the interesting things I made using [Creation] after the Creator had informed me that my memory was a portion of the planet’s memory. These things were greatly appreciated by Kuina and the others.
“The concept here is that if two cores can’t directly resonate with the material for the golem, making the two act as one will. This basic theory has been proven to be correct. If this system is perfected, the total output won’t just be the sum the two core’s output but their product, effectively squaring either core’s output. This system can also be applied to any metal. So, any golem made with this will surely be as strong as an average A rank monster, if not stronger.”
I gulped down.
The Mithril Golems were powerful enough, what more of these new ones, I wondered. A squared output? And since it can be used on orihalcum, it will have much better durability, magical strength, lightness, and many other things.
If such a thing could be steadily mass-produced, we would be invincible.
“Can it be done?”
“I’ve said it before but the basic theory for it is sound. I have also built a prototype. However, the cores have certain compatibility among them so I was doing a compatibility test on them. I have gathered all of the golem cores I have made until now to see which paired best.”
That explained to me why all of the golems she had made vanished from the city.
“Alright, this is an interesting research. Keep at it.”
“Mhm. I’ll absolutely complete it. Even if only one could be built for the moment, lots of data would be gathered from it, advancing my research a giant leap forward. From those further studies, I expect I would also be able to make remedies to somewhat incompatible cores. When that happens, so long as there was orihalcum, I could make an Orihalcum Golem with a twin cores once every two days.”
“That’s encouraging. By the way, I heard that your trump card, the [Mechanical Warmaiden], has troubles with its power supply but if you apply this twin drive system to that, wouldn’t that solve those issues?”
“I have also thought about that. On top of course of using twin cores, I would also make use of the furs I had plucked from Kuina’s tail to serve as a high capacity magic battery. The cores with the twin drive system would pour their extra energy into the tail so whether it be a short yet decisive battle or a prolonged one, the equipment would perform well. Also, completely changing its materials to be orihalcum will make it considerably lighter.”
As she talked, her tone became excited and her eyes shined brightly.
She was excited with all her heart. She seemed quite mad but if my daughter was having fun, I had no qualms about it.
“I’ll be expecting much from this, Rorono. Once you’ve fully built the Orihalcum Golem, make sure to show it to me, okay?”
“Master will be the first one I’ll show it to; no one else. I won’t keep you waiting, I absolutely won’t.”
There were hints of impatience and of pain in her voice.
“Why did you try to make this in the first place? Especially since it seems so difficult, it’s almost impossible.”
She had trouble in speaking but after a while of resolving herself, she answered.
“It’s because I saw you bowing down to the humans, flattering them, and enduring their unreasonableness.”
“I’m sorry you saw me being uncool like that. I’m a failure as a Demon Lord.”
“Not at all!”
She raised her voice and stood up.
“I know Father did it to buy some time. I know you endured that for us and the city. There’s no way such a Father is uncool to me!”
My chest grew hotter. For her to sympathize with me this much…
“And yet! And yet, the reason Father had to smile even after being slighted by those trash, the reason you had to endure those humiliations, the reason for that is that we’re weak. It’s because we were weak, you had to stall for time. For making you do that, I cannot forgive myself!”
Anger and frustration were visible in her eyes. She was angry for my sake more than I was myself.
“I will never allow such a thing to happen ever again. To that end, we need a better fighting force. An overwhelming fighting force that no matter who comes, we can negotiate from a strong stand point. And so, I will build the strongest golems. Not just one of them but tens, hundreds! I’ll absolutely make that happen!”
Rorono was wise, but more than that, she was considerate of her father. She understood what I wanted most at the moment and worked her hardest to give that to me.
I was very grateful to her from the bottom of my heart. So much so that mere words couldn’t have expressed it so I stood up and tightly embraced her.
“You have truly made me happy. You’ve thought of my sake that you even forgone sleep for many days and have been tirelessly researching.”
“I won’t say don’t overwork yourself but remember that if something were to happen to you, my heart will be crushed. You’re my beloved daughter, Rorono. I love you.”
“Mhm. I won’t let anything happen to me while also building the strongest golem as soon as possible for you, Father.”
I smiled and parted from our embrace though it seemed Rorono was little unwilling to do the same.
“I’ll head back now; I have disturbed you long enough.”
“Understood. See you later, Father.”
“Yeah, see you.”
Just when I said so, a notification came from a PC.
“The matching tests had begun after the measurements were done. I’ll take a look.”
She said so and stared into the PC’s screen.
After a short while, her face brightened with a wide smile.
“Father, I’ve found the cores with the highest affinities. It will surely work with these cores. Just a little bit more and I can show you the results tomorrow!”
“That’s great. Do your best on the last remaining steps.”
“Yes, of course. …also, Father, if it all goes well, praise me a lot. …and hug me like earlier.”
“That goes without saying.”
Like so, I left her workshop.
As the night breeze hit me, I reflected on some things.
“I failed to consider Rorono’s and the other’s feelings.”
I had overlooked how my actions could affect those around me.
I resolved myself to do better next time. It was a thing I must do to become a good Demon LordFather.
If Rorono’s new golem could make it in time for the next war, our chances of victory would all the more be better. I felt guilty for letting her overwork herself but I couldn’t help really looking forward to the new addition to our fighting force.
1The word used by the Dwarf Smith to refer to Rorono is お師匠 (oshishou) which means a master or teacher. Just to distinguish titles, I chose mistress.