Amidst the staggering difference in fighting strength, R’lyeh Diva fought a solitary battle.
Even though she had already used up her magic power, hurt her throat from singing her magical songs, and bled too much to the point her consciousness was fading, she continued to fight.
By this point, even pulling the trigger of her assault rifle took effort.
As she was like that, she remembered something from a while ago. It was so vivid, it was like her life flashing before her.
When they were departing to head toward the [Beast] Demon Lord’s dungeon, Procell said to his monsters that they would all comeback alive.
He said it not just to bolster the morale of his monsters but because he truly believed it could be done.
R’lyeh Diva was a newcomer and had not been in a war against Demon Lords before. However, in the stories she heard, it seemed like Procell had been able to do something similar before.
For her, that attitude was fine and all but not for a Demon Lord.
To her, occasionally becoming heartless and sacrificing their subordinates was an important disposition for a Demon Lord to have.
On that point, Procell was just too naïve.
R’lyeh Diva complained such to Wight. A Demon Lord should be more pragmatic, she said. Right when it matters most, he would end up exposing all of his monsters to danger for the sake of a few.
After complaining so, she immediately regretted it.
After all, Wight was one of Procell’s most devout followers. Moreover, he was essentially Avalon’s number 2; if a monster wanted to have a comfortable life in Procell’s dungeon, Wight’s ire should be avoided as much as possible.
However, to her surprise, after hearing her idle complaints, Wight didn’t get angry.
“Certainly, my lord is naïve. R’lyeh Diva, as you say, as a Demon Lord, he is not perfect. Our battles would have gone smoother if he approved to sacrifice some monsters. And it is because of my lord’s naivety that we have fallen to certain predicaments.”
“As to be expected of you Wight, you understand it well! So say something to the patron so that he’ll become a more proper Demon Lord, alright? I’m just a newcomer so my standing is pretty weak but if it’s you that talks to him, I’m sure the patron will listen!”
At that, Wight smiled.
“No, my lord is fine as he is. It is because he is naïve and imperfect that he is beyond perfection.”
“I don’t understand what you mean.”
“What do you find charming in the perfect Demon Lord you speak of? I quite like my lord’s naivety. It is because of that naivety that I can look up to him as my master from the bottom of my heart. It is because of that that I can go beyond my limits.”
“That’s just some dull idealism, isn’t it?”
“Is it though? Back when I was just a B rank monster, I was able to hold back a top-tier A rank monster. Kuina-sama, when she was still low in levels and was still inexperienced, had defeated a raging wind dragon that was beyond strong. The weapons and golems made by Rorono-sama have only reached such excellence because of her strong affection for my lord. Even Aura-sama’s [First Tree] was born due to her affection for my lord and the girls.”
Such wasn’t an excuse, it was the absolute truth for Wight.
“You still aren’t well acquainted with my lord so you might not understand but we love him and it is because we do that we can perform beyond our limits. If he was the kind of perfect Demon Lord as you say, monster will dispassionately do as he says, only when he says it. However, it is precisely because my lord is the kind of Demon Lord that loves his monsters that we always think and do, by our own will, whatever we could for him.”
R’lyeh Diva then remembered that all of Procell’s other monsters loved him and that they kept on doing things for him.
“And so, I have this to say: his naivety might not make him perfect, but it makes us do more than we could. No matter what happens, we would not want to make him change. He might not be perfect, but for me, he is the best Demon Lord.”
Wight then showed a serene smiling face.
Upon seeing that smile, R’lyeh Diva thought it was nice to smile like that. Her envy at wanting to feel the same then made her heart tighten a little.
Nevertheless, R’lyeh Diva didn’t fully understand what Wight said back then. Or even now, for that matter.
She considered herself a realist.
“Yeah, I don’t want to abandon anyone, after all.”
If she used her subordinates as shield and escaped, she would be the only one to survive.
Screw that. Yeah, I guess I’m naïve too.
She was about to do exactly what the naïve Procell would do. But then, in order for all of them to survive, they had to do some disadvantageous, risky, and, ironically, suicidal things.
I’m fine with that, she thought, at least, in this moment, I’ll die with no regret.
It was then time for her scheduled report.
“Patron, here’s my scheduled report. Right now, we’re in the middle of a fight. It’s getting a bit too dangerous. Half of my troops are in grave condition and can’t fight. I’m covering for them for the moment but things aren’t looking good. The enemies number more than a hundred. Plus, I see that about twenty of them are A rank monsters. We’re probably gonna die.”
In response to her report, Procell told her to prioritize their lives and escape despite knowing the disadvantageous situation his normal troops would be put in.
As I thought, he’s naïve. But will it really be so bad if I embraced his brand of naivety? Oh. So that’s what Wight meant that day.
As Wight had said, Procell’s naivety had made her draw out more power than a perfect Demon Lord could. If it was just a pragmatic Demon Lord, she would do as what was ordered which would be, in this scenario, to abandon everything—and everyone—and escape.
I can’t do that. I don’t want to do that.
To put it simply, she too was pleased with Procell.
She liked the city he made. She also liked the subordinates she had as well as all the other monsters serving under Procell.
And for that reason…
“I… Even if I stop being me, I still want to protect everyone”
She had decided to use the skill she had forbade herself from using. The skill that she kept hidden despite all the troubles she had encountered thus far.
She was then directly hit by a high-ranking enemy fire magic attack. She was blown away by the attack and as she clumsily tumbled she began concentrating.
- Shrine Maiden of a Malevolent God: Provides a passive boost (Large) to magic power and magic power recovery. Also provides bonuses (Small) to all other stats. By wishing for even more power, it is possible to receive the malevolent god’s blessingcurse. Upon activation, all stats are doubled. However, activation also pollutes the mind and beyond a certain amount of pollution to the mind, the user is transformed into a different monster.
Power welled up within her.
A foreign, darker-than-black power, then entered her soul. Upon the entry of the malevolent god’s power, she felt herself being corrupted. In exchange for that, she felt strength beyond reason pulsate within her body.
The most that skills could increase an individual’s one or more stats was by a rank. Such was true even for powerful skills like Wight’s risky [Berserk].
However, the skill Shrine Maiden of the Malevolent God went as far as doubling the user’s stats.
Given that she was an S rank to begin with, for her stats to become doubled, there probably wouldn’t be anyone that could oppose her once the skill was activated.
That being said, it was impossible for such power to not come at a price.
If she continually used this skill and the pollution to her mind had reached a certain amount, she would turn into a different monster. Into a sinister and abominable monster.
At that time, her current self would cease to exist. And that frightened her.
To make matters worse, the pollution to her mind would not vanish over time. It was there for life. That meant that the more she used the skill, the more the chances of herself vanishing.
Nevertheless, she chose to use it in this occasion.
She wanted to protect her subordinates and at the same time not be a hindrance to everyone fighting on the normal plane. …also, she wanted to become that person’s strength.
For those reasons, she decided to cover herself in impurity and sing.
To her allies, it would be a song of blessing.
To her enemies, it would be a song of ruin.
She then came near a subordinate that was recovering from its wounds.
“Give me that.”
“Captain, those wounds, that form… that voice”
“It’s alright. I’m still myself.”
She smiled to that subordinate and took away the assault rifle it could no longer wield.
Black lines then traveled to the assault rifles on each hand and it thumped as though the lines were blood vessels. The foreign power within her passed through those lines and an ominous silhouette was made.
The guns, that were supposed to be inorganic things, took on an unsightly organic form.
I’m pretty sure Rorono will faint if she sees her guns like this. But if these guns look like this, I don’t wanna know how I look like right now.
“Now, while I’m still myself, here I go.”
R’lyeh Diva rushed forward to the center of the enemy formation with unprecedented speed.
Unable to expect covering fire anymore, she thrusted straight into the rain of magic attacks.
Something black wrapped around her whole body and it negated the spells fired off by the enemy monsters. Her new overwhelming defense made breath attacks and arrows just bounce off of her as well.
Her throat, that was damaged so bad that it would make her spit out blood just a while ago, was now in good condition. It seemed to her that she could now perform the greatest songs.
As she advanced to the center of the enemy formation, all of the monsters that tried to hinder her were blown away. With her current stats, it was more than possible.
Once in position, she began her singing. In the position she was currently at, her songs would not reach beloved subordinates.
All of the monsters that heard her song, without exception, turned mad and rampaged. It was incomparable to the song she sang before.
Even the minds of those that had resistances against it were snatched away in an instant.
The enemies gave themselves to the music and attacked indiscriminately just for the joy it brought them.
They weren’t even enemies anymore, just audiences dancing to her songs.
It depended on the monster but some of the enemies completely lost their selves and transformed into another monster.
Seeing that, her potential fate, R’lyeh Diva gave a little smile.
Among the enemies, there were some monsters that didn’t have the ability to hear to begin with. And for those monsters, the effect of the magical songs could be suppressed.
“Children that chose to doze off during my concert, you can just go die.”
She fired off the transformed assault rifles at the enemy monsters.
The assault rifles, even under normal circumstances, had powerful bullets. But upon transforming, its power had elevated to new heights.
What came out of the muzzle was black light. The fired off bullets had been wrapped with the black thing of the foreign power.
The moment the bullets made impact, the enemy monsters took on a grotesque, balloon-like form and started attacking their allies.
Her songs and the sound of her gunfire resounded all over the battlefield.
So much so that, much like the enemy monsters could only be called audiences to her performance, the battlefield could now only be described as her stage.
The songstress sang and her audience answered with frenzied screams.
Instead of the dance of neon lights, she had a rain of blood.
It was a concert filled with madness, destruction, and lovely fresh blood.
Amidst the never-ending pleasure and the never-ending frenzy, everybody forgot about the flow of time. However, as all things, it too had to come to an end.
The songs, the screams, the sounds of gunfire, they all vanished.
And the only one to remain standing was R’lyeh Diva.
The black thing vanished from her body but not entirely. A crest that repeated itself multiple times had been engraved onto the left part of her body.
Somehow, she felt that once her whole body was covered by the crest, she would be gone.
“Geez, I’ve only used it once and it’s already like this. I’m doubtful about the next use but if that doesn’t do it, I’m sure the third will.”
She said so as she wrapped her arms around her body.
Upon her realization by intuition, she decided to not use that skill again.
And then, guests appeared on the stage that became composed of only one.
It was her subordinates.
They looked worried but then immediately relieved to confirm that she was still herself. They then embraced her and wept. They also gave her potions and asked her to drink it right away.
“Everyone, were you scared? Well, I guess you will be after seeing that.”
Even from a monster’s perspective, her fight just a while ago should be more than extraordinary.
Moreover, there was the issue of the strange black crest engraved on her body.
In consideration of those things, she readied herself to the possibility of her subordinates disliking her and distancing themselves from her.
“No, we’re not scared. After all, it’s for our sake that you risked your life and fought like that. More than that, are you alright? We’re sorry for making you go to such extreme for us. We’re still incompetent but we’ll support to the best of our abilities.”
At that, she smiled from the bottom of her heart.
“Thank you, everyone. Because of all of you, it was worth it. Now, just a little bit more. Let’s do our best. After this war has ended, we’re gonna party! We’ll sponge off of the patron as much as we can for working us to death.”
But no matter how I look at it, the patron sure is asking too much out of us. Once we return, I’m definitely gonna demand for some extra incentives and for everyone to get some break. …but if the patron wants to join in, I guess I’ll let him. If he tells me he has to hear it at cost, I also don’t mind singing my songs for him.
While thinking of such, the songstress smiled and moved forward.
Now, let’s go. There’s still work to be done. It shouldn’t be long before we meet up with the [Beast] Demon Lord’s monsters that are fighting in this dimension.