We finally arrived in front of the stairway leading from the third to the second floor. You know…it’s really no fun at all to hold a conversation with people that excel at agreeing with everything you say. Honestly, it’s not much different from talking to myself. I guess the sole gain from the whole conversation was Chloe’s story about the time when she departed on the investigative expedition. Given that Chloe had the tendency to despise ― underestimate everything except for me even during that story, there wasn’t much to use as reference in it.
Luckily that boring journey came to an end soon. Once I strain my ears…I can hear people talking and footsteps where metal grazes stone. Through a hand sign, I order Chloe to move into the shadow of a rock that had been added here as a scenic accent. Meanwhile I erase my own presence with 《Darkness Veil》.
A man, who’s at the prime of his life, raises his voice as he walks in front.
“Did you lose sight of your friends?”
“No way!? It shouldn’t be possible for more than 12 people to invade a Domain!”
Looking at the dhampir who stands in their way, the invaders kick up a fuss.
“Inferior creatures, die in regret for having set your dirty feet on the soil of my master’s Domain.”
The dhampir hurls freezing cold words at the invaders. Her appearance is the exact definition of a Domain master. Or a Demon King’s close aide.
“W-Why is the Demon King on the second floor!?”
“C-Calm down…that fellow said my master. In other words――”
Countless ice arrows rain down on the invaders who continue to prattle nonsense in front of an enemy.
“Get ready! The enemy is alone!”
Some people panic, others encourage themselves and ready their weapons.
――Chloe! Shoot the human in the back, holding a wand!
Once I instruct her, Chloe pierces the human in the rear with an arrow just as I had ordered her.
“Eh!? E-Enemy over there!”
The invaders’ awareness has been focused on the dhampir. Afterwards it dispersed towards Chloe who had fired an arrow from the rock’s shade. Your rear is defenseless, you know? Heavily armored invaders approach Chloe and the dhampir with weapons at hand, thus I thrust my Mithril Spear into the back of a lightly-equipped invader who had been left behind.
Going by the equipment, a healer, huh? Having been stabbed by the spear, the female invader falls to the ground.
“Mommy, saaaaaaave me!?”
The invaders, who had been left behind as rear guards, look at their fallen comrade and me as I held the spear alternately, and began to panic.
One of the invaders that fell into panic swings his blunt weapon down at me while roaring.
In a mere 3 seconds my whole body turns into fog and flows backwards. I return to my original state at a spot around 3 steps away from where I had been before and the blunt weapon now cuts through empty space. 3 seconds, eh? The timing really matters then.
As a welcome I thrust my Mithril Spear at the invader, whose posture fell apart as he pitched forward due to the momentum of the swing.
Having his body penetrated, the invader collapses to the ground.
“M-Mooooooooonster!? ― 《Fire――”
I confirmed a flame materializing above the wand of an invader standing in the back, then imitated a gun with my left hand and silently cast while aiming,
The ice bullet directly hit the invader’s head as she was about to use fire magic. I can’t bring her down even with a headshot? It has a fast casting time, but its power output is low, huh? While testing the effects of my newly obtained special abilities, I proceeded to kill the invaders one by one.
30 minutes later.
What was once 12 invaders, is now 12 silent corpses lying on the ground. If I kill with the Mithril Spear, the armor will be broken most of the time, won’t it…? Looking at the punctured armors and clothes, I sigh. Afterwards we stripped off the notable items, and made our way back to the fourth floor.
Chapter 48 – Tests (Rina)
I’m greeted by Kanon and Rina as I return to the fourth floor.
“I’m back. Did you have plenty of rest?” (Shion)
“Right on the mark.” (Kanon)
“Yeah, thanks.” (Rina)
Having heard their replies, I moved to the cave that also served as my room.
“Now then…the CP has recovered completely, but for which of the two should I use it? What do you think?” (Shion)
“Which of the two? You mean 《Blood Chalice》 or 《Random Creation》?” (Kanon)
“Yeah. The plan from now on is to invade Domains, but…the only ones capable of that are bloodkin and their subordinates. I’d like to increase the number of bloodkin in advance in order to make absolutely sure.” (Shion)
“Isn’t it fine to go with 《Blood Chalice》…increasing your bloodkin then?” (Rina)
Rina replies to my remark.
“Considering it simply, that’s true, but…since the CP used for 《Blood Chalice》 is massive, I want to carefully select the subordinates on whom I’m going to use 《Blood Chalice》. Thus it’s also possible that it will be better to use 《Blood Chalice》 on a subordinate that had been created with 《Random Creation》.” (Shion)
“Isn’t it fine to just go with 《Random Creation》 then?” (Rina)
“I can’t argue against it if I’m told that, but the subordinates that will be created through 《Random Creation》 are random, right? Isn’t that worrying?” (Shion)
《Random Creation》. So to speak, gacha creation. Not knowing what will be created stirs up the expectations, but as it’s random at the same time, it’s difficult to make any forecasts.
“Won’t it be saddening…if a trash subordinate is created through 《Random Creation》?” (Shion)
“Well, it’s random because it includes such a possibility as well, you know?” (Kanon)
By the way, according to Kanon’s explanation, the subordinates created through 《Random Creation》 are…all subordinates that can be created in the range of my Creation rank (in my case B), including those that can be created by other Demon King types. Also, although with a low probability…it seems possible that a rare subordinate, which should be called unique, will be created.
A big win is a unique subordinate. A win is a subordinate equal to B rank that can be created by other Demon King species. A miss is a subordinate that I can create myself while also being low-ranking such as slimes and rats. If a slime were to be created by spending 600 CP on it, I might cry for real.
“Oh well, I guess it’s a waste of time to worry about it.” (Shion)
For each minute I worry, 1 CP comes to nothing. And for every 10 minutes of worrying, 10 CP goes to waste. I resolve myself, operate my smartphone, and tap ― 《Random Creation》. A shining pentagram appears on the ground ― and a largely-built human-shaped figure spawned within the light.
The figure shouts in a language I can’t understand. Ogre? The light converged, and the figure that became fully visible was a monster with a height of 2 meters, a very burly body build, a red skin, and a horn growing from its head.
“『Uuuooooh! I will do my best for the exalted one!』 or so it says.” (Kanon)
Kanon politely provides a translation.
“So, what’s its true identity?” (Shion)
I ask Kanon. I can look it up if I check the subordinate list on my smartphone, but by listening to Kanon, I can grasp the details.
“It’s an ogre-san. The rank is C. A monster that can be created by an Ogre Demon King. Its physical strength is outstanding and it can also evolve, making it the main battle force of any Ogre Demon King.” (Kanon)
“Hoh. By the way, how much CP is necessary to create it?” (Shion)
“160. But, since the CP is halved for an Oni Demon King, it’s actually 80.” (Kanon)
I created a subordinate that can be created for 160 CP by using 600 CP, eh…? To begin with, won’t everything besides a unique subordinate incur a loss? The most expensive subordinate ― a dhampir that I can create as Demon King (Vampire) costs 120 CP. Assuming it has been halved as a special privilege of a Vampire, it’s 240 CP. No matter how I think about it, it’s a system that will lead to losses, isn’t it?
“Kanon, what’s the drop rate for a unique subordinate?” (Shion)
“Drop rate, you say…this is no gacha. Umm, I don’t know.” (Kanon)
I click my tongue lightly and change my thinking.
“Well, let’s get down to business then? At last we will start invading the Domains of other Demon Kings.” (Shion)
I spread a detailed map of Kanezawa, that had been owned by a human I’d repelled, on the table. The previously discussed information about the Domains has already been recorded on the map.
“It’s a situation where I would rule over Domains that are not adjoining each other, but as I can move through transfer…Kanon, you can’t move through transfer, can you?” (Shion)
“If there’s a Domain of a third party in-between your Domain and your targeted Domain, it’s impossible for me to move there unless I become your bloodkin.” (Kanon)
“If you say it like that, does that mean you will be able to move there if there’s no Domain of a third party in-between?” (Shion)
Feeling doubtful towards Kanon’s reply, I continue questioning her.
“In that case it will be necessary to meet a condition, but since the humans’ territory that exists in-between will be included in your Domain, Shion-san, even I will be able to move there as long as you connect a path to it.” (Kanon)
The reliable Google-chan gave an explanation of the complicated specifications.
“What is the condition?” (Shion)
“You have to drive out all humans existing in-between.” (Kanon)
“It’s a tough condition, but I guess I will expand my Domain towards the adjoining land, depending on the necessary means.” (Shion)
“I suppose.” (Kanon)
Heeding the condition I was told by Kanon, I lower my eyes on the city’s map again.
You can imagine it as a complex othello board, huh? If possible, I want to expand towards adjoining land. In that case there are 4 possible targets for an invasion.
A: A domain adjoining the First Domain in the north. The Demon King’s assumed level is below 3.
B: A domain adjoining the Second Domain in the south. The Demon King is a beast type.
C: A domain around 500 m to the east from the First Domain. The Demon King’s assumed level is below 3.
D: A domain around 500 m to the north from the Second Domain. The Demon King is a demon type.
※☆ = First Domain. ★ = Second Domain. ◎ = University.
“Looking at it like this, many of the few Demon Kings below level 3 are in my vicinity.” (Shion)
“The reason for that is simple.” (Rina)
Rina responds to my impression which I muttered while staring at the map.
“Eh? There’s a reason?” (Shion)
“Shion, your Domain has been recognized as a『Farm』 by the humans. In a position where you can choose what Domain to invade, most will pick your Domain.” (Rina)
“I see.” (Shion)
My steady information manipulation efforts apparently caused the Domains around me to weaken without me realizing it.
“Was this something you calculated as well, Shion-san?” (Kanon)
“I wonder…?” (Shion)
It was a complete coincidence, but I revealed a meaningful smile.
“Considering it simply, the candidates for an invasion are A or C, but…Rina, do you have any experience in invading either of them?” (Shion)
“If it’s C, yes.” (Rina)
“I believe the hero party would have been able to liberate it, though?” (Shion)
“That way of calling it hero party1 is…” (Rina)
“How should I call it then?” (Shion)
“Even if you ask me…” (Rina)
Given that Rina was at a loss how to answer, I decided to keep going with the title hero party.
“The monsters spawning in C…to be precise, the Domain of Kanezawa’s ○○ District, are kobolds. As their equipment was equivalent to E rank…I think it would have been very possible.” (Rina)
The monsters are kobolds. Accordingly Creation is at D rank. The equipment corresponds to E rank. Accordingly Alchemy is at E rank. Even if the Demon King has specialized on Body or Mana, the limit is C rank, I guess.
――Come to my cave.
I call my bloodkin. After waiting for a short while, Chloe, Silver, Blue and Hope showed up.
“Alright, it’s time for mock battles. Rina…fight against the four bloodkin here in turns. However, make absolutely sure to not kill them. You guys, I definitely don’t allow you to kill Rina either, okay?” (Shion)
“At your command!” (Chloe)
“At your will.” (Silver)
“Got it.” (Hope)
“Roger ~ssu!” (Blue)
Taking safety into account, I limit the equipment to E rank. If the bloodkin win, I will be able to send them off with a peace of mind since they will have a lineup that’s stronger than the hero party. First the goblin fighter ― Blue faced off against the former hero ― Rina.