Riding a Darkness Dragon, I traveled to Stolas’s dungeon.
In order to make both of our war potential stronger, I proposed an idea to Stolas, which she thankfully accepted. This trip was to make that idea a reality.
“Oto-san, it’s so great that air trips are so common now!”
“Well, travel via the sky is the fastest, after all.”
Kuina, my guard, said so with a merry voice.
In the old days, the mere sight of a dragon would cause an uproar, but now that they had become famous enough to become another symbol of Avalon, I could openly fly out on top of one and no one would be surprised.
In fact, because they were much faster and stronger than the Hippogriffs, I had even received requests that asked if they could use the dragons to transport their stuff. I turned down such requests though, not because we didn’t have enough Darkness Dragons, but rather because their [Fear] skill would mean instant death to the humans who dared get close.
“Ah, Oto-san, have you heard from Rorono-chan?”
“Hmm? About what?”
“Well, apparently, while investigating the [Forest] and [Mine] rooms for materials to be used for the new Avalon-Ritters, she had made some discoveries. What she basically told me was that we now have a self-sustainable supply of raw materials for our explosives.”
“That’s definitely the first I’ve heard of it. Once I find the time, I’ll look into it.”
The raw materials for the bombs the Darkness Dragons use for aerial bombing as well as the MOAB prepared in the deepest floor of my dungeon couldn’t be found in this world, forcing us to completely rely on my [Creation] to produce such things.
Basic gunpowder and such could be procured, but the power of those just weren’t enough. Because of that, about 90% of my use of [Creation] was dedicated to supplying those unprocurable rare metals and chemicals, like RDX for example.
If we could find a self-sustaining supply of those materials, that would mean I could use my [Creation] more freely than before.
…there are a lot of things I’ve been wanting to make.
“It’s Rorono-chan, I’m sure she’ll make amazing things with those materials!”
“Yeah, you’re right, I’m looking forward to it.”
If, in the end, Rorono could only make things of inferior quality compared to the things we were currently using in Avalon, I wouldn’t mind at all. It would still be quite exciting.
I was so glad to hear of this good news before my meeting with Stolas.
“Kuina, hold on to something. We’re going to descend soon.”
After I confirmed that Kuina had held on to me from behind, I pulled the dragon’s reins and made it swoop down.
At last, we were at Stolas’s dungeon.
Upon arriving at Stolas’s dungeon, we were guided to the usual room.
And after a while of waiting, Rozelitte the angel-type monster guided us along.
Actually, there was one other monster I didn’t notice until I looked closely. It was a miniature jade dragon. In other words, it was Enlil the Storm Dragon Knight Bahamut.
His original form was too large, making it hard for him to enter rooms and thus hard for him to protect Stolas. But in this tiny form, he could always be near her.
Kuina raised her hand and greeted him with a yo. Enlil, meanwhile, acknowledged her back.
Seeing these two kids communicate like that, it seemed like Kuina and Enlil had gotten quite close.
“Sorry for making you come all the way here. I’ve just been a bit too busy lately.”
Until very recently, Stolas had lost her Demon Lord powers and stayed in Avalon to recover.
As to be expected from that absence, the work she needed to do had piled up.
“Don’t worry about it. I was the one that proposed this matter. …by the way, your new dress suits you. And it seems you’ve changed your perfume too. It smells nice.”
“Fufu, thanks for noticing. I’m going for something a little adult-like.”
Stolas bashfully said so.
She had always been attentive to how she dressed. In fact, each time we met, she wore something new. I was actually looking forward to what she was going to go with today.
“Well, let’s get down to business, shall we? I’m guessing you’ve already bought a [Maelstrom] for the monster two ranks below Enlil..?”
“Naturally. There’s no way I wouldn’t want one B rank monster—which normally can only be made through medal synthesis—each day. So much so that I actually bought it as soon as I regained my powers as a Demon Lord.”
Having an unbelievably strong monster wasn’t the only advantage of making an S rank monster.
Demon Lords who could make only up to A rank monsters were allowed to buy with DP only up to C rank monsters. On the other hand, if one was somehow able to make an S rank monster, up to the B rank monster in the same lineage could be bought with DP. Mass production via a [Maelstrom] became possible too.
“Being able to mass-produce B rank monsters is indeed powerful, but it’s not foolproof. Especially if your forces are leaning too much on one aspect.”
This issue was present even in Avalon.
Preparing a lot of a certain B rank monster was great, but there were other things to consider such as attribute affinities.
In the Darkness Dragons’ case, they had the Death attribute and that made them extremely frail against attacks that were of the holy attribute. In other words, if the Darkness Dragons fought against enemies of the same rank that could use attack of the holy attribute, there was a real risk of them being annihilated one-sidedly. So much so that it would still be the case even if the Darkness Dragons outnumbered the enemies.
And if the Darkness Dragons do get annihilated, our air defenses, which relied heavily on them, would be in trouble.
Sure, Aura and the High Elves could somehow cover up for it, but that might make accomplishing their own task harder for them.
So, if possible, I would like B rank flying monsters that were not weak against holy attacks.
For that reason, I needed to cooperate with Stolas.
“I think so too. The monster two ranks below Enlil, the B rank Tempest Wyverns, are undeniably powerful monsters, but they’re quite frail and are lacking in attack power. So, I want monsters that have fight-deciding strength, like your Darkness Dragons.”
Stolas shared my worries.
As a main force, the Tempest Wyverns were powerful monsters. Their speed exceeded even the Darkness Dragons’. And with their wind and lightning magic, whether long-range or short-range, they had an answer.
However, in exchange for the swiftness of their attacks, it lacked weight and therefore power. If and when a durable enemy appears, they would have a hard time dealing with it.
So, I wanted flying monsters not weak to holy attacks and she wanted flying monsters that had high attack power. Considering we had what the other wanted, there was just one thing we needed to do.
“Stolas, do you have a place nearby where the dragons can fly around freely?”
“Yeah, it’s been prepared. Go show me the power of your Darkness Dragons, okay?”
“That’s my line. Let me confirm the ability of your Tempest Wyverns.”
“Sure thing. And, if we both are satisfied with what we see, we go with what we planned?”
“Yeah. Let’s start with five per month.”
We were planning a regular exchange of monsters.
Because each [Maelstrom] produced one particular monster per day, we could exchange dragons without much cost. And by doing it regularly, we could hopefully solve the issue of our troop composition being uneven.
That being said, it was just natural for us to have reservations on this deal until we had seen the actual performance of the other’s monster.
To confirm the performance of the other’s monster and then make a contract if everything was satisfactory, that was the reason for today’s meeting.
“…Procell, I just want to ask: will you also be willing to exchange your Abyss Howls? I do want air units that have high attack power, but more than that, I want mobile ground units as well as other-dimension units. The Abyss Howls will certainly strengthen my dungeon in those two fronts.”
The truth was, I had anticipated this development and thus brought along in my [Storage] one Abyss Howl. After all, if I was in Stolas’s shoes, I would unquestionably ask for them.
Her Tempest Wyverns were alluring.
Monsters that were of the holy attribute usually had low defenses, making the Tempest Wyverns’ low attack power a non-issue. Then, factoring in their speed and other abilities, holy monsters won’t be a problem.
Perhaps most of all, having them would make taking full control of the sky much easier than if we only had the Darkness Dragons. Their ability to manipulate the wind made them one of the best support units.
But then again, the point of this deal was to diversify our troops. If I were to exchange two kinds of monsters to get just one kind, I couldn’t help but feel I was on the losing side of this deal.
“I understand. If we both find the monsters’ abilities and performance to be satisfactory, I will give you a number of Darkness Dragons and Abyss Howls equal to the number of Tempest Wyverns you will give me. I’m willing to do this, but know that you will owe me a favor that I will someday surely collect.”
“Oh, thank you. I will keep that in mind. It seems I keep finding myself owing you. Someday, I will definitely repay you properly.’
I smiled a little at that.
This is Stolas we’re talking about. When she becomes the superpower she’s definitely going to be, I’ll be glad to be on her good side.
After that, we began walking to the place she prepared so that our monsters could demonstrate their capabilities.
I was a little shocked to see that her dress had a huge opening at the back.
“You know, if you want, I wouldn’t mind at all if you paid me back with your body.”
With an ah, Stolas stumbled and fell.
When she turned around to face me, I saw that her face was bright red.
And then, as though startled and shaken, her mouth kept opening and closing, over and over.
“Wha– wha– what do you think you’re saying?!”
“It’s a joke. Don’t take everything I say to heart. Anyway, let’s get a move on. I want to see the abilities of your Tempest Wyverns as soon as possible.”
“……A-a joke? ……then please stop joking like that and be more serious.”
After saying that, Stolas stood up and then walked briskly toward our destination.
And then, I felt Kuina pinching the back of my hand, her face all swelled up.
“Oto-san’s a pervert”
“…I’m sorry. And not just to you. I’ll go apologize to Stolas later.”
Obviously, what I said to Stolas was just crazy.
Recently, due to the explosive amounts of high-quality emotions I was getting every day, strange things had been happening.
One of which was that my dark side was unconsciously surfacing.
If this keeps up, I was liable to do something really crazy, like that time I laid my hands on Fel…I should probably visit a brothel soon. Things might settle down once I’ve released these pent-up urges.
After a while of walking, we arrived at a [Valley] room.
A lot of Stolas’s monsters possessed the ability to fly. For them, a place like this—where steep cliffs were plenty, decent footholds were few, and the sky vast—was the ideal hunting grounds.
And so, there, we released the monsters we had in our [Storage].
“Stolas, your Tempest Wyverns are amazing. So, dragons that can control the wind are able to fly this fast, huh. And that lightning strike too. To be able attack—without the use of explosives—the enemies on the ground while still high in the sky, it’s quite enviable.”
“Your Darkness Dragons deserve praise too. Having such high specs, it’s cheating I say. This is the attack power I’m looking for! But it isn’t just them. The power of your Abyss Howls in a land battle is breathtaking! It’s almost impossible to believe that they’re also other-dimension monsters.”
Our monsters demonstrated their abilities without holding back.
Stolas seemed to have taken a liking to my monsters.
Likewise, I was pleased with her Tempest Wyvern. It exceeded even my expectations of it being good support units for the Darkness Dragons.
Like that, Stolas and I looked at each other and smiled.
“I want to have your Tempest Wyverns at all costs.”
“And I want your Darkness Dragons and Abyss Howls”
“Then, it seems we have a deal.”
Stolas and I then shook each other’s hand. However, perhaps thinking on the tactless remark I made earlier, her face got red again.
Still, the deal was made.
Each month, we were to give the other ten monsters: 10 of her Tempest Wyverns for 5 each of my Abyss Howls and Darkness Dragons.
From being composed wholly of Darkness Dragons, Avalon’s aerial corps was now a mix of the two dragons. This was a huge step forward.
“Hey, look, it looks like the dragons are trying to do something.”
“I wonder what those kids are up to”
While flying in formation, the Darkness Dragon and the Tempest Wyvern communicated through roars. After a fair bit of that, they began.
The Tempest Wyvern flew at full flying speed and took the lead. Then, it used its wind magic to create a path. By using that path, the Darkness Dragon was able to follow at a speed comparable to the average speed of a Tempest Wyvern.
They can do even this? I can’t wait for the day they’ll dance in the sky of Avalon.
“Amazing. If they can do this, they should be able to do more, right? But, hey, Procell… do you have any plans after this?”
“I do, but I can easily clear my schedule. Why?”
There was always work to be done, but thankfully, there was none that needed to be finished today.
When I answered like that, Stolas suddenly became fidgety. A few moments after that, it seemed she had somehow found her resolve.
“We-wel–if you want to, do you want to have dinner here? I did my best to make it. I-I just thought it’s not fair to let you keep treating me to a feast without me ever returning the favor. Besides, I made you come all this way, it’s the least I can do.”
With anxious, upturned eyes, she tried to guess my answer from my facial expressions.
A homecooked meal by Stolas? How can I say no after hearing that? ….wait, is it possible that this is the real reason she asked for our meeting to be here in her dungeon?
“It’ll be my honor. But I must say, I didn’t know you cooked.”
“Yeah, it’s actually just recently that I’ve finally reached the level where even you won’t complain after eating the meal. I’m so happy right now. I poured my heart and soul into making it, you know.”
Stolas smiled as she said so, and I thought it was extremely adorable.
In the background, I saw Rozelitte making a victorious pose while Enlil was going wild in her arms.
…I have a feeling she’s the one behind all this.
It was just the kind of thing Stolas’s self-appointed sister would do. But as ever, Rozelitte was such a caring monster.
And so, I stayed and enjoyed Stolas’s cooking.
In terms of just taste, a professional chef’s cooking in the restaurants of Avalon would most likely be better, but her cooking had other pleasant things going for it.
In end, I ate a bit too much to the point my belly swelled.
I’m so glad I came here today. Not only did I get access to Tempest Wyverns, I was also able to spend a relaxing time with Stolas. In my books, that makes it all worth it. Thanks to this, I can face tomorrow with a smile.
After that, I decided to return to Avalon.
She had asked me to stay for a little while longer, but there was a growing risk that I’ll say something awful like the joke from earlier, so it was best I leave before that.
Upon our departure, Stolas was somewhat disappointed while Rozelitte clicked her tongue. In contrast, Enlil seemed to be in good spirits based on the roar he gave.
On the way back, I remembered something interesting that Stolas talked about.
Apparently, due to not having that much time left to live, [Dragon] Demon Lord Astaroth had begun divvying up his monsters and other assets to the members of his faction. However, his real treasure would only be for the one that would triumph over the Dragon’s Trial he would be hosting.
“Well, whatever, it doesn’t involve me.”
For Stolas, this was most likely a very important matter, but it was not so much for me who was nothing more than a friend to the [Dragon] Demon Lord.
Still, I was curious as to what that real treasure could be.
I guess I should ask Stolas about it after. And then, I should also go drink one more time with the [Dragon] Demon Lord before he’s gone.
I was indebted to him, but more than that, I just wanted to talk to him about a lot of things. I wanted us to talk and laugh as we enjoyed superb alcohol and extraordinary meals.
This was the only thing I—the one being left behind—could do for him—the one leaving.
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