We finally reached the last dungeon room of the [Pig] Demon Lord’s dungeon.
What awaited us there was the [Pig] Demon Lord himself. Through [Awakening], the ability he was born with had ascended to something else.
Originally, his [Pig] skill had two effects:
First, by raping a female monster, his [Pig] ability allowed him to forcibly gain control of the said monster. It was his desire to make use of this effect on Rorono that sparked this [War] between us.
The second effect was self-strengthening.
The simpler the ability, the stronger it was.
Marcho’s [Beast Transformation] was a great example of this. Its effect was simply strengthening her, but because of that, the power it gave her allowed her to surpass even S rank monsters.
Meanwhile, because the [Pig] skill had two effects, its self-strengthening effect wasn’t as strong as Marcho’s.
It still was troublesome like most self-strengthening abilities, but overall, there was no need to be afraid of it.
The version it evolved into through [Awakening] was another matter though. That one gave him unimaginable power.
Using that, the [Pig] Demon Lord was able to crush Rorono’s three knights in an instant, despite them activating [Burst Drive] and thus being comparable to average S rank monsters.
…at that, my blood ran cold. If Kuina hadn’t responded in time, I might have been killed.
Kuina then engaged him in a one-on-one battle. Their clash alone was strong enough to send shockwaves.
On one side, there was the [Pig] Demon Lord who looked utterly disgusting. He was quite ugly before, but this was something else. His muscles swelled to over twice its size, bulging bizarrely. His skin had thickened to the point that it looked like an outer shell that cracked at various places. Dubious lumps from his back were spouting out smoke of some kind.
On the other side, there was Kuina who looked utterly beautiful. She wasn’t in her child form—her energy conservation form—anymore after judging that she would have low chances of winning even if she made use of all her power. Her hair was longer, certain parts of her had developed, and her already fluffy tail became even more so. She looked so beautiful, so divine.
“Beauty and the Beast, huh.”
It was the clash of an unsightly fiend and a beautiful girl.
It was a surreal sight.
“Master, sorry, they still weren’t… strong enough”
Her head down, Rorono began collecting the broken pieces of her three knights using the few remaining Avalon-Ritters.
“It’s because the three knights I made were so weak that father almost got killed.”
With a tearful voice, she subconsciously called me father.
She was thinking that had Kuina not been there to stop the [Pig] Demon Lord’s fist, I might have been killed. And that if only her golems were strong enough, I wouldn’t have been put in such a dangerous situation in the first place.
While she was blaming herself like that, she began repairing the knights.
“…I won’t even try to offer you words of comfort. You won’t listen to them anyway. So, I’ll just say this: I look forward to you making even stronger golems.”
“Mhm. I promise, this won’t happen ever again.”
I was certain that Rorono was going to keep her word.
What a strong girl.
At any rate, there was no reason for me to just watch the fight.
First, I gave instructions to the Ocean Singers and the Abyss Howls. There weren’t that many enemy monsters in the other dimension to begin with, so after the Ocean Singers and Abyss Howls exterminated those enemies, they could move freely. In other words, they could disregard the [Pig] Demon Lord and go straight to the crystal room.
In the crystal room, there were some monsters deployed for defense, but considering the defense was the bare minimum, the Ocean Singers and the Abyss Howls were able to care of them swiftly and quietly via surprise attacks. So much so, the enemy monsters weren’t even able to call for help.
One of the Abyss Howls had the crystal in its mouth and was on standby to crush the thing with its mouth.
In case the other monsters of the [Pig] Demon Lord or the [Pig] Demon Lord himself entered the crystal room, or in case I just signaled it to, that Abyss Howl would immediately crush the crystal.
This was insurance.
It wasn’t that I had no confidence in Kuina, or in Tiro and Rorono should Kuina fail, but it was my job to think of a solution for the worst-case scenarios. Kuina might resent me for interfering, but if it meant saving her, I would not hesitate to break the damn crystal.
My girls were more precious to me than anything else, and I would not lose any of them.
…in a sense, it was because I had this insurance that I approved of the duel, thinking that it was vital to Kuina’s growth.
Anyway, now that the insurance was in place, I could focus on simply watching Kuina’s fight.
The two of them were still exchanging blows as they did earlier, but something was changing.
Kuina was being pushed back.
The [Pig] Demon Lord was gradually becoming stronger, tougher, and faster.
It seemed like I misunderstood something: he wasn’t fighting optimally yet. He was still getting used to his new powers. Each moment, he was getting better and better.
And now, Kuina couldn’t keep up.
“What, Kuina can’t win!?”
The situation was growing dire.
In terms of attack and defense, and even speed, the transformed [Pig] Demon Lord was getting the upper hand.
Not to be deterred so easily, Kuina repeatedly pulled the trigger of her shotgun.
In this latest iteration of the ED shotgun series, the more magic power Kuina poured into the shotgun, the more its power would increase. Combining that and the durability to withstand as much of Kuina’s immense magic power as possible, it was the perfect shotgun.
Also, in order to further increase the attack power, Kuina used slug shells which didn’t disperse after being shot.
Kuina was also making use of two of her skills: [Precognition] and [Ultra-rapid Reaction].
Through [Precognition], she was able to peek into the immediate future, into the world to come. And through [Ultra-rapid Reaction], she could display unbelievable reflexes and thus always take the best course of action.
Thanks to those skills, even though her speed was now inferior to the [Pig] Demon Lord, she could still reliably hit him.
All three of the slug shells she fired hit him at exactly the same spot. Kuina had judged that one shot wouldn’t be enough to kill the enemy, so she fired three at once with pinpoint accuracy. However…
Although the bullets were able to smash through the outer shell and gouge his flesh as intended, it was not fatal. His muscles were so flexible and strong that it dampened the impact of the bullets.
And then, as though he didn’t feel any pain at all, he proceeded to charge at Kuina.
At that, Kuina quickly sidestepped and dodged. The [Precognition] and [Ultra-rapid Reaction] combo was also highly effective in evading.
But to win, she knew she needed to fire again at the spot her three bullets hit before. However, before she could fire again, the [Pig] Demon Lord’s body regenerated.
Her shotgun could only rapid-fire three bullets at a time. Before she could fire more, he was beginning to heal.
To be short, her shooting wasn’t doing anything lasting.
After she used up all her ammo, she tossed her shotgun aside.
The [Pig] Demon Lord screamed and then stomped the ground hard.
When he did so, countless spears that was made out of the earth and that was also covered with black aura arose and attacked Kuina.
Of course, Kuina used [Precognition] again to avoid this attack, but before she could fully do so, the [Pig] Demon Lord had charged at her. Kuina also tried to avoid to this, but was still grazed in the end. Although it was a graze, it was enough to throw her away with great force.
She tried to reduce the impact of hitting the ground by spinning around. Even so, the damage she received was quite serious.
…The reason Kuina, who was supposed to foresee attacks coming her way, had received such damage was simple: the [Pig] Demon Lord had created a situation where evasion was futile. She was checkmated.
Kuina then stood up and raised her right hand. Her left hand dangled there, unmoving, leading me to think that it was broken.
And then, her right hand was ablaze with golden red flames.
She knew half-assed flames wouldn’t work on the [Pig] Demon Lord as he was now, so ever since she threw away her shotgun, Kuina had been continuously amassing power all while buying for some time by enduring and avoiding attacks.
“[Golden Crimson Jewel]!”
She shouted so and fired off a flame from her right hand.
Despite pouring as much power as she could into that attack, it was only the size of fist. It even looked ordinary. However, it was greatly dense. Moreover, the flame she used was the primordial flame which burned everything it touched. It was the concept of burning itself. No matter how tough an object was, this flame would burn it.
And thanks to [Precognition], it was a guaranteed hit.
The compressed flame travelled at the speed of light. The [Pig] Demon Lord used his right arm, which was covered with his dark power, and struck Kuina’s attack. As to be expected of the primordial flame, it burned all of the right arm. The black aura, the outer shell, the muscles, the bones, all of it was burned. However…
“It’s not enough!?”
It wasn’t that her flame was ineffective. It still burned everything up to his shoulder, after all. It was just that there was simply too much of the [Pig] Demon Lord to burn.
Even though her flame could burn anything, it consumed a lot of energy in exchange. So, even though Kuina gave her all to it, it was only able to burn an arm.
When the [Pig] Demon Lord roared like that, the right arm that was burned away grew back.
Only this time, the new arm’s muscles and outer shell were bigger and thicker than before.
He grew stronger!?
And then, as though an idea popped into his head, he punched at Kuina even though she was several meters away.
After having a look of surprise in her face, she was sent flying until she hit a wall. The wind pressure of the punch alone was enough to send Kuina flying!
He then punched the air several more times. Kuina was hit and hit and hit and hit, each one making her sink deeper and deeper into the wall.
Several hits later, the [Pig] Demon Lord finally stopped and the tattered Kuina fell forward.
“Agaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Killllllllllllllll! Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllllll!”
The [Pig] Demon Lord screamed once more.
Any trace of reason was gone from his eyes. It seemed like the stronger his Awakening made him, the less of what little intelligence he had remained.
The price of power and some such.
…truth be told, I became a little afraid.
Up until this moment, I had always made light of the Demon Lords in the so-called anti-Procell alliance, regarding them as nothing more than second-rate Demon Lords that couldn’t win against me by themselves.
In actuality though, even a single Demon Lord, albeit one that threw away everything he held dear in exchange for immeasurable power, was showing power that rivaled and perhaps even exceeded even Kuina, my trump card.
Perhaps the [Pig] Demon Lord is just special, an exception, I wanted to believe. But such optimistic hopes were irresponsible. There might come a time we would have to deal with several of such fiends at the same time.
At any rate, the [Pig] Demon Lord seemed to have lost interest in Kuina and was now looking at me.
…is this how far their fight goes? Should I end it?
There was already a Transfer array under my feet, and the moment he comes at me, an Abyss Howl would pick up Kuina and use Transfer to help us escape. Meanwhile, the Abyss Howl stationed in the crystal room would be given the order to break the crystal.
We would win that way, but that would also deny Kuina the chance to keep her promise of prevailing against the [Pig] Demon Lord. Even at this point, I wanted to believe she was going to keep her word.
“Kuina, are you giving up? If you don’t get up, I’m going to end this [War].”
Prepared to draw even more of the [Pig] Demon Lord’s attention, I shouted so.
Rorono and Tiro then moved in front of me, ready to protect me. Even if they too couldn’t defeat the [Pig] Demon Lord, their efforts could stall him for several seconds at the very least.
Even in this state of madness he can remember my name? Well, consider me flattered.
The [Pig] Demon Lord rushed toward me.
Rorono wore her [Mechanized Warmaiden] while Tiro gathered magic power. The many Abyss Howls nearby also used [Dark Roar] and put a very slight but still valuable weakening effect on the [Pig] Demon Lord.
I ordered my monsters to prioritize buying for time. If they focused on defense, they should be able hold on for quite a while.
“It’s not over yet. Kuina hasn’t lost.”
Kuina, with great effort, stood up and said so.
At that, I smiled a little.
“Then, fight. The next time you fall down, it’s over.”
Her courage aside, the fact that she was wounded all over remained.
To be honest, I wanted to end the fight right away and not risk losing her.
But Kuina decided to continue. Given that, and the small part of me that wanted to see her grow despite the risks, I decided to give her one last chance.
“’Kay, Kuina won’t fall again”
She seemed like she was going to try something, but given her state, she might not have enough power.
…then, should I help out a little?
A Demon Lord and his [Monsters of the Covenant] were connected.
The stronger the [Monsters of the Covenant], the stronger the Demon Lord was.
The reverse was also true. So, the stronger I was, the stronger Kuina was too.
At the moment, there was only one way for me to get stronger: [Awakening].
I activated that and the dark power that I hid within me began to overflow.
My desires engulfed me. The filthy me that I kept in check has now come to the surface.
“AhahahAHHAHAHAhahahaa… I almost got too excited again”
If it was the previous me, I would have been consumed by this dark power.
Thankfully, Marcho had taught me how to control it. The first steps were to recognize that this filthy me— even those desires—was a part of me and learn to manage it.
And so, I took a deep breath.
I was the usual me. The one loved by my girls.
I was the Demon Lord who, instead of feeding off of humans’ despairs and griefs, decided to make a city so that I could live happily with the humans and with my monsters.
Through my connection with Kuina, the overflowing power poured into her.
When she noticed this, she smiled and then wrapped her body with her golden flames.
“Oto-san, thank you. I can definitely win now.”
Kuina said so and smiled again.
I had no idea what she was planning to do, but I fully believed she would overcome her limit once again.
TL note: Her golden flames are different from her golden red flames. This is more of a reminder for myself because I somehow have this idea that “it’s a flame, saying it has red is redundant”. I don’t think I’ve made the error of omitting it, but just in case lol.
And while I was checking on previous chapters, I’m kind of amused that in the first volume, when Kuina beat the still-berserk Enlil, she used her golden flames. Retcon or advance planning, I don’t mind which, I’m amused.
Please consider supporting me. You can do this either by turning off adblock for this blog or via my Patreon page. Thank you.