~Procell’s Point of View~
While worrying about everyone that was transported to the other transfer points, I ran as fast as I could.
When I looked at the tablet pc, it seemed like Kuina was the first to reach the exit point at the center of the dungeon room. This was likely due to the fact that Kuina was my strongest monster, and that the Mythological Foxes and the Abyss Howls that composed the rest of her group were highly mobile monsters.
As they had been instructed, her group was now heading toward Aura’s location.
“Master, we’re soon about to reach the exit point as well.”
Even though we were being attacked every now and then, we were making good progress toward the exit.
In order to preserve ammunition, I had prohibited the Avalon-Ritters from using their guns, and ordered them to use their swords instead.
The Avalon-Ritters had two standard weapons: their heavy machinegun and their magic swords. These magic swords were the more streamlined, easier-to-use version of the prototype weapon that was given to Fel.
By adding in a limiter, even the Avalon-Ritters were able to form rather stable magical blades. In exchange for that though, the power output was far inferior compared to the prototype.
Even so, that was more than enough to stave off the monsters sent our way.
“Any news from Kuina and Aura?”
“Mhm, they’ve just sent a message. It seems Aura has eliminated most of the enemy battalion sent their way, and Kuina’s group, while on their way to Aura, was able to take down those that managed to escape. Their two groups have joined together and are now heading toward the exit.”
“Is that so? Aura pulled that off?”
That was a fortunate miscalculation.
I had thought Aura’s sniper corps would perform poorly in a fight against a large number of enemies, but it seemed like that they managed somehow.
“Mhm, but I have some bad news as well. Aura’s fine, but she’s exhausted and can no longer fight in the meantime because of that.”
Not having Aura was a serious blow to our war potential, but she had already done her part. Instead of making her feel guilty, she should be praised to the utmost.
“How about the others?”
“Every group is advancing favorably. It doesn’t look like any group other than Aura’s has faced against a large number of enemies. There’s no need for concern.”
This was a hurdle and once we were over it, things might all at once go easier.
We had reached the exit point.
It looked like we were the third group to make it here, with my other monsters soon to follow.
After a while, Kuina arrived with Aura, the latter being supported by a High Elf.
I had heard Aura was exhausted, but she looked worse than I imagined.
“Great work, Aura. I heard you defeated a large enemy force. Thank you for that.”
“…Master, I’m sorry. As one of your [Monster of the Covenant], I should be fighting ‘til it’s over, but if I continue like this, I would just be a burden.”
Aura apologetically murmured so.
She was a very wise kid. Moreover, she had the ability to be objective about herself. If she herself said she couldn’t fight anymore, then it truly was impossible.
In terms of physical health and magic power level, she seemed quite fine, so perhaps the reason behind why she could fight anymore was that she was mentally exhausted.
“Well, thanks for your hard work. I’ll have an Abyss Howl transfer you back to Avalon. If you rest by the golden apple trees, you should recover much sooner.”
“Yes, I’ll do just that. Master, may the fortunes of war be with you.”
“Leave it to us. You’ve done more than enough. For which, a reward is in order… hey, look at me, don’t torture yourself. You did great work, Aura.”
She looked apologetic again, so I decided to brush her head. When I did so, she smiled a beautiful smile.
“I’m happy to be praised, of course, but I still can’t help being frustrated at myself. I promise, next time, I’ll fight until all the fighting ends.”
“I’ll be looking forward to that, then.”
After that, Aura went back to Avalon through a Transfer array prepared by an Abyss Howl.
Being soaked in the golden apples’ Ki would surely hasten her recovery. In case of a prolonged [War], she might be called back to action again.
“The fighting within Avalon should have also started. I’m kinda curious on the status there… but whatever, we have Duke and Ruhe over there. There’s no cause for concern at all. Duke losing isn’t even a remote possibility.”
That was how competent Duke was. He was my most dependable monster, after all.
~At the same time, in Avalon~
Present in the operation headquarters located in the basement of Procell’s estate were Duke and his Dwarf Smith lieutenant.
“Report: the Mithril Golems in the first dungeon room have been annihilated.”
“It’s only been an hour after the start of the [War] and they’ve already broken through. As we expected, our enemy this time is unlike any we’ve fought so far.”
While spreading out a situation map, Duke began to think deeply.
“And how did they break through?”
“Through brute force. An Orc that had monstrous defensive and charging capabilities withstood the storm of bullets sent by the heavy machineguns and advanced until it reached the Mithril Golems, upon which it smashed the latter.”
“Interesting. Even Kohaku-dono found it necessary to avoid the bullets of the heavy machineguns. It seems they have immensely powerful monsters in their side. It might be better if I myself sortied. And what are the current movement of that monster?”
While the Dwarf Smith answered, she made changes to the situation map.
“Hey, Duke, did you just call me weak? It’s just that that’s not how I fight, I’ll have you know.”
Visibly displeased, Kohaku the Byakko growled and then said so.
Given that he was an A rank monster that could level up and had leveled up to the fullest, and that he had a name, it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that he had incredible fighting strength.
And yet, that wasn’t what made him frightening. Rather, it was his massive combat experience and the ability to make full use of it.
Through some events, Kohaku became Procell’s monster. Ever since, a lot of Procell’s monsters, including Duke, had regarded him as an advisor.
Some monsters like Kuina even adoringly called him Kohaku-jii. He didn’t mind it and would occasionally even give such monsters some training to supplement the areas they were lacking in.
As for why Duke invited Kohaku into the headquarters, it was of course to hear the latter’s opinion on things.
Duke was painfully aware that Avalon’s monsters lacked real combat experience and thus hoped Kohaku’s knowledge and experience was enough to make up for it.
“That’s not what I meant… but how about it? Will you fight again after a long while? With you on our side, victory is practically guaranteed.”
“No, I’m good. I would rather have the young’uns get some experience under their belt. Especially the Abyss Howls. They’re pretty much newborn pups. They’re born from Maelstroms so experience points from kills does nothing for them, but combat experience is something else. I think it’s preferable to choose a few of them and have those few be experienced enough in combat to lead the others.”
“Thank you for such a valuable suggestion. I wholeheartedly agree.”
The Abyss Howls were B rank monsters that had high stats as well as useful abilities like Transfer and other-dimension manipulation.
There was no doubt they would be a core part of Avalon’s fighting force from now on, so Duke had also thought that training them was necessary. However, given their numbers and how each one was born every day via the Maelstrom, training them all was quite the arduous, if not impossible, task.
The solution to that, as simple as it might be, was in this conversation between the two: by training only a select few that will eventually act as leaders.
Not to mention, Abyss Howls had the trait of forming groups, so having trained leaders should have a more advantageous effect.
“Then, let’s have the Abyss Howls be the centerpiece of this fight. Our strategy will be simple. First, the Darkness Dragons will bombard them and thin their numbers. Then, amidst the chaos, the Abyss Howls shall launch their sneak attacks. Dwarf Smith, please send the word,”
“Yes! Leave it to me!”
With that, the monsters of Avalon sprang into action.
Even in Avalon, a full-blown battle was about to break out.
~From an Orc King’s Point of View~
At present, the [Pig] Demon Lord’s attacking forces’ conquest of Avalon was progressing well.
His appearance and way of talking made it hard to imagine that he was prudent and wise.
But in fact, he had anticipated a [War] with the [Creation] Demon Lord would eventually happen, and thus gathered intelligence on him and made countermeasures based on that. For that reason, his attacking force was able to break through the rain of bullets in the deadly first dungeon room of Avalon. The first room was the [Stone Corridor] room that was guarded by the heavy-machinegun-wielding Mithril Golems, by the way.
Even though the Mithril Golems’ rain of bullets was a serious threat, so long as one knew about it, breaking through was possible.
In the orcs’ case, they made an Orc Sentinel, a kind of orc that had extreme defensive capabilities, take the vanguard while wearing magical armor made and borrowed from another Demon Lord in the anti-Procell alliance. This Orc Sentinel also received as much defensive buffs from orcs that had leader-type skills.
As though that wasn’t enough, it was also made to consume various medicines that had the combined effects of dulling its sense of pain while also strengthening it and heightening its focus.
…In exchange though, once the Orc Sentinel had depleted its energy, it would lose its life. But then again, to be able to break through the Mithril Golems’ defensive line by sacrificing just one monster, well, it was such a windfall already.
The Orc King that stood as leader of the attacking force then sent out some scouts ahead. After confirming it was safe enough, he led his troops toward the second room, which was a [Graveyard].
Just because they had cleared a hurdle, even a significant one, the Orc King knew better than to be complacent. In his opinion, the thing that one needed to watch out the most about Avalon wasn’t the heavy machineguns, it was the bombardment of the Darkness Dragons. Those things exceeded even the wide-range magic attacks of A rank monsters.
However, they brought reinforcements just for dealing with the Darkness Dragons. Made to enter the [Graveyard] area first were the Holy Cranes, which were white-winged C rank monsters.
Monsters with a holy attribute were strong against monsters with a darkness attribute.
Even though the C rank Holy Cranes had numerically lower stats than the B rank Darkness Dragons, the attribute affinity between the two more than made up for it.
With enough Holy Cranes, the Darkness Dragons could be erased from the sky. And if the Holy Cranes did gain total aerial dominance, there would be no bombardment to worry about.
And so, the Orc King looked at the Holy Cranes dancing in the sky, and made a sigh of relief.
Once all of the monsters had entered and had fallen into formation, the Orc King shouted a command.
Avalon’s secrets were fully exposed to the Orc King. There was no doubt that they would break through every single dungeon room just like they did the first one.
…or so he thought.
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