We had entered the [Pig] Demon Lord’s dungeon.
Apparently, this dungeon had 12 dungeon floors, meaning it had 36 dungeon rooms.
That was a lot and I had no plans to take my time on each one.
“Everyone, double time! Anyone that can’t keep up will be left behind”
“Mhm, I will do my best”
“Fufu, don’t underestimate my speed, master!”
My monsters enthusiastically replied so and walked faster.
I wanted to break the enemy’s crystal as soon as possible.
My worry right now wasn’t the potentially strong enemies and deadly traps lying in wait somewhere for us. Rather, it was my crystal being destroyed before I could break the enemy’s.
Duke, Ruhe, and several Avalon-Ritters remained in Avalon to handle its defense.
It was unthinkable for them to lose in a head-on battle, but many other things were possible. One such thing was the enemy having some kind ability to instantly arrive at my crystal room without any battles.
That said, worrying wouldn’t change anything.
The only thing we in the attacking force could do was to beat the enemy’s dungeon as fast as we could. To that end, a lot of the members of the attacking force were what one could call quick-footed.
While walking along the way, the Ocean Singers gave me a report. According to them, the other dimension was currently just as empty of enemy monsters as the dungeon room we were in.
Could it be possible that he simply wasn’t able to obtain an other-dimension type medal?
As great as that would be, it was more likely that this was some kind of trap designed to lull our judgment. So, I gave out instructions to be alert.
An hour like that passed…
“Oto-san, this dungeon’s weird. There’s no one in here”
“Even my wind isn’t picking up anything. This has got to be a trap.”
“Try not to mind it. There’s nothing to it but to move forward. They’re likely lying in wait somewhere.”
Dungeon room after room, we ventured deeper into the dungeon.
Other than the very first dungeon room in the first floor, every dungeon room we passed was more or less what would be called a labyrinth-type room.
We had already progressed to the 2nd dungeon room of the 4th floor, but we still haven’t encountered anyone.
The same was also true in the other dimension.
Could it be that they’ve decided to pool their war potential somewhere and clash with us en masse? No, that can’t be it. They should’ve learned from their initial encounter with the Avalon-Ritters and the white knight what would happen if they simply rushed at us in large numbers. But then, what else could it be? It’s almost impossible for them to be missing and not have a plan.
“Aura, be more rigorous with your wind scan than usual. Rorono, also be more rigorous in your trap perception.”
“Mhm, understood. I’ll send it via our data link”
Rorono was an earth magic expert. As such, she was able to gain information on anything that had any contact with the ground.
That made traps visible in plain sight.
That wasn’t all. Tablet-type access devices had been handed to the monsters that were filling the role of leaders, and thanks to that, those officers were able to readily view information Rorono had gathered. Without a doubt, this was a much faster and much more accurate method of relaying large amounts of information than oral communication.
Overall, this allowed for ultrafast dungeon exploration.
“Rorono, I’ve been thinking of adding more dungeon floors, but I wanted to hear your opinion first.”
“I am of the same opinion. In times of [War], the more floors, the better. It makes buying for time easier.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Even without monsters to man them, just having additional floors that takes time to traverse makes quite the difference. Using the remaining DP I have, I’ll make dungeon rooms with difficult terrain as well as those filled with traps.”
“I support it. And if we can sequence the rooms properly, the time we can make our enemies waste will be even greater.”
When talking about monster deployment, a dungeon room needed to be easy to fight in for certain monsters, but when it was simply about making the enemy take as much time as possible, something like a [Lava] room full of nothing but magma might suffice.
But then, enemy flying monsters wouldn’t have any problems at all. In that case, placing a [Labyrinth] room with a ceiling that was as low as possible right after the [Lava] room should slow the advance again.
These were just a few examples of how effective sequencing of dungeon rooms with special terrains could impede, sometimes even halt, the enemy’s dungeon conquest. In the above example, if a [Lake] room was added after the [Lava] and the [Labyrinth] rooms, only a small group of monsters would have been able to progress quickly.
It was an exceedingly simple method, but because it was simple, it was effective and hard to counter.
“Well then, let’s proceed to the next room. Brace yourselves.”
Everyone nodded, and we went to the next dungeon room.
At that moment, a sense of dread came to me.
And then, there was this feeling like I was floating. It was almost similar to being Transferred.
No, it’s not almost similar, I am being Transferred! So, it’s that dungeon room, huh. It’s troublesome, but we have no choice now than to deal with it.
There were various kinds of dungeon rooms that could be bought from the [Demon Lord Book]. [Grasslands], [Plains], [Lava], [Sea], [Wasteland], and more.
The simpler the room was, the cheaper it would be. Conversely, the more special the terrain it had, the more expensive it got. For example, a [Lava] room was three times more expensive than a simple [Plains] room.
Additionally, if a dungeon room had some kind of magical function to it, its DP cost would be even higher.
The [Treasure Vault] room, which periodically produces a treasure chest, was a fine example of this.
There were also [Therapy] rooms which increases one’s own healing power as well as magic power recovery just by being in the dungeon room.
These two rooms were astronomically expensive, but I was hoping to have such rooms in my dungeon someday. If I made Kuina stay in a [Therapy] room, the rate at which she was storing magic power to the furs of her tail would surely skyrocket.
And then, there was the dungeon room we happened to come upon.
It was an even more expensive room that had a very amazing magical effect.
Its name was… [Transfer Labyrinth]
Just as its name would imply, the moment one entered this labyrinth room, they would be Transferred at random to one of the six transfer points within the room.
To make matters worse, those transfer points were all placed in the outer edges, while the exit was placed in the center of the maze. Moreover, until one has exited the room, not only would they be unable to reunite with allies who were flung to the other transfer points, they would also be unable to return to the entrance.
“So, this room fails in this regard”
At first glance, the Transfer Labyrinth was a very convenient room to divide the enemy’s war potential. However, it would seem it had the defect of transferring members of a party to the same transfer point.
So, for adventurers who worked well enough as a party, the Transfer Labyrinth’s effect was not as impactful as it initially seemed to be.
And yet, despite that flaw, the room’s cost was that absurd. I was feeling less and less inclined to buy one in the future for my own dungeon. There was still the charm of forcing the dungeon delvers to search for the exit without the option of going back to the entrance, but that just wasn’t enough for that kind of asking price.
“I’m so happy to be with master.”
In order to raise my and Tiro’s levels, the two of us were in the same party as Rorono, her Avalon-Ritters, and her three knights.
As for the others, they were likely thrown to the other transfer points.
Just then, I realized something I had overlooked.
“I see, it seems my judgment was a little premature. Even though this room doesn’t mean much against adventurers, against other Demon Lords and their monsters, the scattering of war potential that it does can indeed turn the tide.”
Like usual, I had made monsters that filled similar roles form parties together. This time though, that backfired on us.
Having similar roles, it would be hard for them to make up for their weak points by themselves.
The ones that could have it the worst would be the snipers. Aura and the High Elves excelled in taking down enemy elites, but against a swarm of enemies, their limited wide-area attacks and spells might not be enough. Moreover, this labyrinth was sure to make gaining distance difficult for them.
Against such enemies, there was a real chance they could lose.
“Master, thanks to the access device that the commanding officers are carrying, I’ve been able to ascertain their locations. What’s more, I’m able to communicate with them so long as they’re in the same dungeon room as us.”
“Great job. I want you to tell them this: Head to the exit at the center of the labyrinth as quickly as you can.”
“Mhm. I’ll also send them the map data for this place.”
So long as they had Rorono’s map data, they should be able to reach the exit without ever getting lost.
After much thought, I came to the conclusion that if the [Pig] Demon Lord was ever going to make a move, it would be here and now while our forces were scattered.
Most likely, the enemies would focus on the other groups first while leaving Rorono’s group, which had already proven that large number of enemies wasn’t even a bother, alone for the moment.
Agares seemed dumb, but apparently, he’s quite the schemer. And I must admit, I underestimated [Transfer Labyrinth] rooms.
Aside from learning that such rooms were effective in Demon Lord to Demon Lord fights, I also learned a valuable lesson on how to form parties.
Rather than to have a party whose members all fulfilled the same role, it was better to form a party with members that could cover one another’s weakness, making them able to stand alone if need be.
I had to thank Agares for that lesson.
“Rorono, Tiro, come on, let’s hurry. And Rorono, I fear Aura is the one in most danger, so pinpoint her location and formulate a route that would lead us to her. The exit should be where all our paths converge; it’s only a matter of finding the route to the exit and then to her.”
“Leave it to me.”
Like that, we sprinted. All while praying that the enemy would come after us instead.
Procell’s [Sniper Corps] was composed of Aura and the High Elves.
They had been separated from the rest of the army and was currently making their way toward the exit.
Along the way, Aura was being more cheery than usual in an effort to encourage the anxious High Elves.
After a while, they came upon an open space.
Inside a labyrinth-type room, open spaces were definitely out of place.
Furthermore, occupying that open space was an absurdly large army of orcs, which were beings that were stronger and tougher than goblins. There were even high-ranking orcs among them.
“I’m glad we have a lot of targets today, but I don’t think our bullets are enough…”
There was only a limited number of bullets that Aura and the High Elves had for their anti-materiel rifles. Obviously, they prepared and carried bullets with them, but because each bullet was large, there was only so much they could carry in their person.
Normally, this wasn’t an in issue since Rorono’s Mithril Golems carried with them large containers of ammunition and those golems would routinely give out bullets to the monsters. However, such an option wasn’t available for the elves at the moment.
“This doesn’t look good for us, does it? But if I lose with just this much, I have no right to call myself master’s [Monster of the Covenant]. Besides, Rorono-chan’s been hogging the spotlight for a while now; maybe this is my chance to shine”
Aura said so and then readied her prized anti-materiel rifle.
In the next moment, a gunshot and a scream of an orc was heard almost at the same time, signaling the start of the fight.
Despite the circumstances, Aura smiled at the thought that this might be the perfect opportunity to use that.
Much like Kuina, who unlocked the possibility to evolve, and Rorono, who gained the powerful skill called [Materialization], Aura acquired a new trump card by being one of Procell’s [Monsters of the Covenant].
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