I rode on the monster Stolas sent to pick me up and headed to her dungeon.
The monster she sent was a high-ranking griffon.
If I was as my previous self, I wouldn’t have been able to see the stats of a high-rank monster belonging to another Demon Lord. However, as I was at the moment, thanks to the drastic level ups I had in the Marcho rescue campaign, I was sure I could see the stats of up to A rank monsters.
Race: Storm Griffon
Physical Strength: B
Overseer of Wind
One who conquers the storm
The Storm Griffon was a monster with excellent close-range capabilities as well as excellent flight performance.
It seemed to me to be quite easy to use.
Unsurprisingly, because it was a high-ranking griffon, perhaps its best feature was that it was comfortable to ride.
If it was in terms of speed alone, the Darkness Dragons in charge of Avalon’s airways could match the Storm Griffon, but in terms of comfortability, it could not. As a means of transportation, this was the better one.
While I thought of such, I travelled in the sky.
For today, I travelled alone. It has been some time since I went outside without any monsters attending to me. To be honest, it was a bit lonely.
That being said, through my [Storage], I had insurances prepared.
After a while, I arrived in her dungeon.
As ever, her dungeon was an orthodox one. Her aesthetic sense was on display at the front of her dungeon.
Still riding on the griffon, I was led deeper into the dungeon. After some time, I arrived not at her crystal room but at a guest room she had prepared.
The room was calming and beautiful. It was a room that was undoubtedly hers.
“Procell, you came.”
Stolas smiled and said so.
“Of course. I promised, didn’t I? besides, it’s a friend’s big event; I want to be of help.”
“Fufu. That encouragement is just like you. I guess I’ll have to do my best then.”
I’m glad she’s pleased.
At any rate, there was another person in the room I had to greet: the [Dragon] Demon Lord.
“It’s been a while, [Dragon] Demon Lord Astaroth-sama.”
“Yes, though I didn’t expect for us to meet again so soon.”
“I came here today support Stolas.”
“Hmm, what a fine bond you two share. As for myself, I came here to give her encouragement. Unlike you, I have to return before the [War] begins.”
Such protectiveness. There aren’t a lot of parents that love their child that much.
“Procell, I leave Stolas in your care.”
He said so and then shot me a meaningful glance.
It was just my guess but I thought that he was perhaps aware of the [Black] Demon Lord’s actions.
It’s not so unbelievable for him to know even if I don’t say anything as he should have eyes and ears everywhere.
“Yes, I’ll take care of her. I will protect my friend.”
“A fine answer. It’s nice to know someone will be there for her, given that I don’t have much freedom to act at the moment.”
At present, the [Dragon] Demon Lord was at war with a coalition of nations.
By attacking the sacred city for the religion founded by the [Black] Demon Lord, Astaroth made enemies of the human nations.
While he might currently have the upper hand, the human beings’ numbers and resources were also quite formidable, to the point that he would be too busy with them for a while.
“[Dragon] Demon Lord, if ever you need help, just say the word and I’ll be there.”
“No need, no need. I am strong, after all. Plus, I already have a faction of reliable Demon Lords at my side.”
“Please forgive my presumptuousness.”
“No, I’m actually glad about your sentiments. However, rather than worry about me, worry about Stolas.”
I strongly nodded.
After all, right now, I’m the only one capable of helping her.
“Of course. She’s an important friend, after all. …while I have the chance, let me give you the medal I promised.”
In exchange for helping me save Marcho, I promised the [Dragon] Demon Lord to give him my [Creation] medal. However, since a Demon Lord could only make a medal—through the use of [Discharge]— once a month, I wasn’t able to give him a medal back then. Now that a month’s time had passed since the last medal I made and now that my Demon Lord powers have returned to me even though my magic power has not, I could finally give him the promised medal.
“That’s the [Creation] medal? It’s a really good medal, isn’t it? Rather than give it to me, please hand it over to Stolas.”
“If that’s what you wish, then that’s what I’ll do.”
After my war with the three new Demon Lords, all old Demon Lords—the parent or not—were thereafter forbidden to give medals, DP, and monsters to us new Demon Lords.
If the [Dragon] Demon Lord accepted my medal, he would then be unable to give it to Stolas.
Thus, he instructed me to hand it directly to her.
“[Dragon] Demon Lord Astaroth-sama, that medal’s something you obtained from a deal with Procell. I do not have any right to take it.”
“You are correct, Stolas. However, know that a father wants to leave behind as much as possible to their child. And an S rank monster at that, even if it’s just one, would be something else. Stolas, I’m aware of your pride, but for the sake of profiting, there’s a need for you to learn to crush that pride of yours from time to time. That, and also to learn to be more accepting of your father’s love.”
[Dragon] Demon Lord Astaroth said so and then gave Stolas a gentle smile.
Stolas opened her mouth only to close it again. And then, with a look of determination in her eyes, she spoke.
“…thank you. Father.”
Stolas raised her head and was then patted there by the [Dragon] Demon Lord.
Their bond was dazzling.
“And so, if you please, Procell.”
“Understood. Stolas, please accept this.”
After being prompted, I handed over the [Creation] medal to Stolas.
“Thank you, Father. Thank you Procell. I’m going to use this medal wisely.”
Considering that it was her, I thought there was no chance that the medal which contained the sentiments of both myself and the [Dragon] Demon Lord would be wasted.
“Well then, I should going back. If all stays normal, there’s little chance you’ll lose, Stolas. On top of being talented, your conceit—your sole weakness—is gone after you met Procell. Other than him, there’s no one among the new Demon Lords who could beat you. …That is, if no boorish fellow interferes.”
Accepting her flaws, Stolas looked straight into the [Dragon] Demon Lord’s eyes.
For them that much was enough; no other words were needed to be said.
With that, the [Dragon] Demon Lord left.
I was on standby in Stolas’s crystal room.
There, her crystal projected images of what was going on within her dungeon.
As I watched, I noticed that she had many [Wind]-type monsters that had the ability to fly. To make full use of such monsters, her dungeon was designed to have skies and difficult-to-traverse fields.
For monsters that couldn’t fly, her dungeon was extremely hard to attack. And since flying monsters were rather rare, for most Demon Lords, her dungeon could be said to be impregnable.
However, the other way around, when her forces were the ones to be attacking an enemy dungeon, how well she could do was dependent on whether the enemy dungeon had dungeon rooms that her flying monsters could advantage of.
“You’ve finished your preparations?”
“Yes, we’ve done everything we can.”
After a while, Stolas came to her crystal room.
As she said, it seemed her monsters were now all appropriately positioned within her dungeon.
“Procell, let me tell you of my strategy. First, I’m going to make copies of my monsters using [Omnipresence], and then have those copies take care of the offensive. Everyone else will be on standby within my dungeon and take care of its defense. If I can win with just the copies, great, but even if the copies get annihilated, it’s still fine. After all, other than thinning out the enemy, I would know of their composition and positions, the dungeon’s traps, and so on. And then, after looking at the situation, I can send out the strongest force I can take out of my dungeon and crush the enemy.”
“Yeah, I’ll do the same if I were in your shoes.”
Monsters lost in this [War] would never return.
For that reason, I was of the opinion that losing as few monsters as possible should be of the highest priority.
In that regard, her strategy was extremely effective.
With her [Omnipresence], she could create copies of all the monsters that were both under her control and were on the same dungeon room. Even though these copies were of a rank lower than the original, she would still be doubling her fighting force.
Most of all, since these copies were expendable, they were very helpful when it comes to planning strategies.
As Stolas explained, on top of providing her with information about enemy deployment, letting the copies be the ones to attack would also thin out the enemy forces without any risk.
“I’m glad you said that. The [War] will start in an hour, huh. Hey, Procell, can I ask for some kind of good luck charm to encourage me?”
Stolas smiled and then closed her eyes.
Knowing what she was expecting, I approached her.
“You’re so mean, Procell.”
…and kissed her in the forehead.
“You’re my important friend, Stolas. And, well, friends don’t do more than that.”
Stolas looked sad for a moment, but then smiled.
“I knew that. Well, I’ll be going now.”
“Are you pumped now?”
“Yes. I was disappointed with the kiss in the forehead, but more than that, I’m very happy. It’s weird; my heart’s beating so fast.”
She said so and then turned her back on me.
Her whole face was red, even her ears.
At that moment though, I carefully and stealthily—so that Stolas won’t notice— released a monster from my [Storage] and made it hide in her shadow.
The said monster was an espionage specialist that I borrowed from Marcho. Making it guard Stolas from her shadow was one of my measures.
According to Marcho, not only could it enter the other dimension through a shadow, it had stealth abilities for use even there. Furthermore, even though monsters with dimension manipulation abilities tended to have lower fight capabilities, this one was a fiend in the sense that it had top-notch solo fighting capabilities.
It was because of this monster that Marcho was able to defend the other dimension throughout the previous campaign.
“Good luck. I’ll be watching here.”
Stolas didn’t look back and instead kept walking. However, she did raise a finger, as though saying everything would be alright.
With her strategy, the copies would be fighting on the enemy’s dungeon while the originals would be fighting in hers.
If something were to happen to her, I would be able to know of it through her crystal and act accordingly. Also, so long as that monster was there, no matter what happens, it could stall for hopefully enough time.
I heard the Creator’s voice within my head.
It seemed that even if one was not formally involved in the [War], so long as they were in the vicinity, they could hear the voice as well.
As for the participants, I suspect they were sent to that white space.
<<The [War] between [Wind] Demon Lord Stolas and [Blade] Demon Lord Sabnock is about to begin. The victory conditions for this war is either to make the enemy surrender or to destroy their crystal. …and now, let it begin!>>
When the Creator said so, the war finally began.
Unlike my war, there was no time limit for this one.
Anyway, Stolas’s enemy, the [Blade] Demon Lord, was a B rank Demon Lord. As such, it was highly unlikely for him to create A rank monsters.
The synthesis of A and B rank medals only had a 1/3 chance to produce an A rank monster. Even if the three medals his parent gave him in the time of his birth were all A rank, the most he could make were two A rank monsters.
It was also unlikely for him to obtain A rank medals through trading. After all, a Demon Lord who could only make B rank medals wouldn’t easily be able to match the price for an A rank medal.
And so, a Demon Lord who could only make one or two A rank monsters wasn’t a match for Stolas at all.
If there was to be a concern, it would be that monsters made out of the [Blade] medal were in a little bit of an advantage against [Wind] monsters. Inorganic-type monsters tended to have high defense while Stolas’s monsters tended to have quick but rather weak attacks.
That being said, it wasn’t enough of an advantage to make for the difference between their ranks.
I was watching the first dungeon room when ten monsters appeared.
“A rank, all of them!?”
Despite being shaken by the enemies, Stolas immediately ordered all her monsters in the first room to retreat. Afterwards, she suddenly took out a trump card from her [Storage]: the A rank Emerald Dragon that had the [Berserk] ability.
She must have come to the conclusion that anything less than this wouldn’t be enough to go against this group of A rank monsters.
The Emerald Dragon, a monster that could go against an average S rank monster due to its [Berserk] ability, raged like a storm and crushed the enemy monsters one after the other.
Even Kuina had a hard time fighting the Emerald Dragon; these guys won’t come out unscathed.
Another reason it could fight so well was that it was receiving proper support. Being strengthened like that, it then fired off a long-range attack.
Like this, she can win.
“What, there’s more of them!?”
Another 10 A rank monsters appeared, turning the favor against Stolas. As strong as the Emerald Dragon was, there was no way it could win against 20 A rank enemies.
A few minutes later, the Emerald Dragon issued out a dying cry.
With that, Stolas placed the Emerald Dragon back into her [Storage], and then, together with her monsters that have already pulled out of the battlefield, escaped into the next dungeon room.
Fighting in such a situation would only uselessly exhaust their strength and numbers. In my opinion, it was the right call.
Where there should have been only one or two A rank monsters, there were twenty. And that was just what I saw; there were definitely more.
The impossible has happened.
The [Blade] Demon Lord has assembled a force that his medal couldn’t possibly produce.
Actually, of the twenty A rank monsters, none of them seemed to have qualities of a [Blade]-type monster.
“I don’t know for certain if it’s the [Black] Demon Lord, but there definitely is someone behind the scenes.”
That was my conclusion.
If left as it was, Stolas would lose.
Given that this wasn’t a fair [War] among two new Demon Lords anymore, I decided to intervene.
Moreover, I couldn’t let a friend I owed so much die. Plus, if it was really the [Black] Demon Lord behind this, then it would be my fault that Stolas was in danger of losing.
She can’t lose. I won’t allow it.
“Now, let’s see how well I can perform in my current condition.”
My [Creation] ability was not available at the moment. In order to provide back up for Stolas, all I could rely on were the measures I had prepared beforehand and the monsters in my [Storage].
I won’t let Stolas die here. I’ll do everything I can.
From this point on, it was no longer just Stolas’s [War], it was ours.