After we came back home, I unconsciously spoke to myself out loud.
“I messed up; I’ve made Marcho angry.”
After I brought up the topic of [Rebirth], Marcho was enraged.
Even if I was being selfish, I had no ill intention; I just wanted her to live longer.
That said, her anger was understandable.
I half-expected her—one of the strongest Demon Lords—to be insulted by my offer to become my monster through [Rebirth] so I had prepared to persuade her but it felt like what enraged her was the very idea of extending her life itself.
“Oto-san, you’re making a sad face.”
“It’s because Marcho’s angry at me.”
Based on her personality, it was extremely unlikely for Marcho to become hostile and harass me.
Nevertheless, she was an important friend. Being in a quarrel with her is painful.
“Does Oto-san like Marcho?”
“I do. She’s someone I respect. She has also taken good care of me.”
“Then, make up with her! If you say you’re sorry, it’ll probably make things ok, somehow!”
Kuina said so and I smiled. There were some truth to her words though. And so, I decided to visit Marcho again after she had calmed down a little and apologize with all sincerity.
“You’re right. I’ll go properly apologize to her some time later, with a gift while I’m at it. ……say, Kuina, when I reach the end of my lifespan and die, will you mourn for me?”
Upon hearing my question, she looked as though she was about to cry. She then hugged my right arm tightly.
“Kuina will be devastated. I absolutely don’t want that to happen. Oto-san has to always be together with Kuina!”
Looking at her react like that made me feel happy, somewhat.
“I also don’t want to die, of course. But that’s all the more reason why I can’t understand Marcho. I’d absolutely hate it to leave my adorable monsters behind and will therefore do whatever is necessary to be with you all longer, even if that means lowering myself to be another Demon Lord’s monster. I thought all other Demon Lords would think so as well but apparently, that is just my hubris speaking.”
Maybe in the course of my long life, I’ll have a change of mind. For the moment though, it’s a sentiment I just can’t comprehend.
I then recalled my conversation with Marcho.
She had said that somebody else had proposed something similar to my own proposal. That somebody probably was another Demon Lord and that Demon Lord was most probably [Time] Demon Lord Dantalian.
There was a chance that with his ability, he’s able to stretch the 300 year lifespan of us Demon Lords.
“Kuina won’t let Oto-san die. If it’s to keep you alive, Kuina will do anything. Foxes are symbols for longevity so maybe if Oto-san eats Kuina, Oto-san will live longer!”
“Master eating Kuina is totally out of the question but I agree that we can’t let you die, master. With the power of science, we should be able to overcome anything, even lifespans. If we have as much time as 300 years, my research to overcome your lifespan will be complete by then… I will absolutely make it so.”
“It’s not just science either; don’t make light of the power of nature. I will prepare the right food and environment that let you live a healthy and long life! If my powers increase further, I’m confident I can make a real Tree of Life that will surpass even the current World Tree we have now!”
Kuina as well as Rorono and Aura all spoke encouraging words to me.
It made me happy. However, strangely, I laughed involuntarily.
“Geez, you all. Thank you. That really made me glad. But don’t worry ‘cause I‘m not going to leave you all behind.”
I then pet each of my beloved daughters’ head.
Every one of them is a long-lived monster. They would age only until they have reached the most suitable age and form for combat. Moreover, they would continue to live long after I’m gone. Denying the fate of living on without me, they said they would do whatever it would take to prolong my life.
I’m filled with joy but now is the time for actions.
“Kuina, take some low level monsters and go hunt in the [Crimson Cavern]. Take along the Avalon-Ritter too. Its level won’t rise but I want some battle data collected. I’ll also increase the number of Mythological Foxes by two. They’re very useful monsters with their speed, agility, and presence sensing capabilities so make sure to train them well.”
“Yeah! Kuina will raise her new little sisters properly!”
Kuina raised her hand and answered so. Her fox-ears were standing up too; an indication that she was motivated.
“Rorono, is it necessary for you to be there and directly control the Avalon-Ritter?”
“No. Battle protocols have been stored in its memory.”
“Understood. Then, Kuina, I’ll leave the data collection to you. As for you, Rorono, continue your research on their mass-production. That shall be our key to victory in the upcoming war. I expect much from you.”
“Roger. I will not disappoint your expectations, master.”
Rorono, with a serious expression on her face, nodded and immediately headed for her workshop.
“Aura, figure out a way to hasten Kohaku’s recovery. We cannot afford to let him be idle. He may not be as strong as you girls in combat but he has experience that we sorely lack. He’ll definitely be helpful.”
“Certainly, please leave it to me. He’ll be in better physical condition than ever before!”
“Also, tell him I’m going to borrow his wisdom later regarding intelligence gathering monsters. I just can’t believe that we have an intruder even you can’t detect. So, I want to know those kind of monsters’ nature, to understand them, and to know how they can scout without any problems.”
“Okay, I’ll relay that to Kohaku-san!”
Aura bowed and left.
With that, each of my Monsters of the Covenant began their work.
Not to be outdone by them, I went to work on my own set of duties as well.
I entrusted Kuina with the two newly born Mythological Foxes. I also made new Dwarf Smiths High Elves—two of each to be exact—and entrusted them to Kuina as well.
Avalon’s population have grown recently and with that, so too did the work for Rorono’s smithing workshop as well as Aura’s orchard. Given that it was a necessary expense anyway and the fact that I had some DP to spare, I bought the new monsters.
Even after that, I still had 12,000 DP remaining.
I decided then to make the monster I was allowed to buy when I used Rebirth on Wight—the darkness dragon Graphross.
By the way, I didn’t have any [Creation] medal at the moment to make an intelligence gathering monster of my own. Until then, I decided to expand fighting force.
There was no way I could summon a dangerous looking monster such as the darkness dragon within my city of Avalon without any questions being asked so I moved to the mining area.
“The aerial bombardment corps have proven their usefulness on the last war but the Hippogriffs, I really don’t have much confidence in them.”
The Hippogriffs were D rank monsters I was able to buy when I made the B rank Griffon.
When deployed as part of the aerial bombardment corps, their low attack power was compensated for but there still were many issues.
First was that they were slow. Although they could fly in the sky, their speed wasn’t anything to write home about when talking about monsters.
Next was that they were weak. It wouldn’t matter so much when they are one-sidedly attacking from the sky but against a strong enemy monster that could, in some capacity, fly in the sky as well, the Hippogriffs could hardly compete.
They were also at a disadvantage against monsters that had some form of anti-air attack.
All that said, in the end, they are only D rank monsters.
The darkness dragon Graphross on the other hand is a B rank monster. Furthermore, it’s a strong dragon monster capable of flight. Dragon monsters are usually stronger even against monsters of the same rank.
The darkness dragon’s fighting capabilities are the real deal. They can pretty much ignore arrows coming from the ground. And, as long as their enemies aren’t A rank flying monsters, they’re untouchable in the sky.
Furthermore, they can fight on their own even after dropping the bomb they carried.
I was of the thought that if I make an aerial combat unit featuring the darkness dragons, Avalon’s fighting strength would skyrocket.
Additionally, to further increase the Avalon-Ritters’ effectiveness, I was also thinking of making them cooperate with the air units. The Hippogriffs wouldn’t be able to carry out this strategy due to their limited carry weight which in turn was brought by their lack of physical strength.
If this strategy were to be carried out, it may very well overhaul [War] as we know it.
However, it should be noted that I had another important task in mind for the Griffon and Hippogriffs. A task that the darkness dragons wouldn’t be able to carry out.
“Anyway, I’ll go try making two of them.”
For the aerial combat unit that I was going to form, I wanted it to have at least 10 members but before that, I needed to accurately confirm their usefulness.
“[I Shall Compose]”
I said those words of power and the Demon Lord book appeared in my hand.
When I thought about the darkness dragon Graphross, the pages turned by themselves, only to stop at the corresponding page.
The needed DP for one was 1,200 DP, the standard price for a B rank monster.
By no means was it cheap but as I was at the moment, I could easily afford it.
I then recalled my wish to someday have a [Maelstrom]. Maelstroms could be bought for a hundred times the amount of a particular monster but in exchange, it produces that particular monster once each day. Given three months and a few days, it would have recovered its initial cost and will continue to produce more monsters from then on, making the cost to performance ratio really great.
Basically, how many monsters a Demon Lord could steadily produce—[Maelstroms] or otherwise—determines how well off he is. For example, Marcho has tons of [Maelstroms] that can produce C rank monsters.
My plan was to amass DP to buy [Maelstroms] once my fighting force could be said to be sufficient for most situations. The kind of monsters I could buy at the moment were limited but even among them, my options were excellent, especially the B rank monsters which only I could buy.
“Now come, Darkness Dragon Graphross!”
I paid the required amount of DP and bought a Graphross.
Black particles gathered before me and assembled into the shape of a dragon.
It had four limbs, sharp claws and fangs, a long tail, and jet-black dragon wings that measured 4 meters long.
It was a dragon of darkness that had the Undead attribute.
Upon completion, with eyes filled with hostility, it looked down me, both literally and metaphorically.
It roared and the air shook.
Monsters are forbidden to harm their master as well as disobey that master’s commands. However, anything in-between was totally allowed.
In other words, a monster with a wild temperament is tough to handle.
Such was surely the case for this one. It completely made light of me.
When I wondered what to do, a man in the prime of his life appeared. He was a demi-human that had a dragon’s horns and tail. He was my trusted right-arm man. He was Wight.
“I was on my way to the bread factory but I sensed my lord’s presence nearby. But then, here I find an extremely cheeky and unruly youngster. A youngster that must be disciplined. Taking such an attitude toward my lord, unacceptable.”
“Ok, I’ll leave his discipline to you, Wight.”
Like that, he looked at the new dragon with cold eyes filled with silent anger.
Currently, Wight was a monster that had a rule over both Undead and dragons.
With him to take care of things, the disciplining of this youngster would probably be over in an instant.
And so, I smiled and silently watched.