Chapter 49 – Tests (Rina) ②
“So much of a difference…?” (Shion)
“Rina-san is strong, isn’t she?” (Kanon)
Rina easily gained three wins in a row against Blue, Hope and Silver.
“It was a first for me to encounter such a strong kobold.” (Rina)
Rina calls out to the depressed Silver. Those words don’t sound the least like the ones from a victor to the defeated. Silver’s ears hung down even more prominently.
Going by the statuses, there’s not that much of a difference, but…I guess it’s Rina’s ability?
“How pathetic… And yet you call yourself master’s bloodkin?” (Chloe)
The final bloodkin ― Chloe, who scolded the three losers, faces off against Rina.
“I’m also Shion’s bloodkin, though?” (Rina)
“Hah! You’re just a newcomer! What cheeky words! Know your place!” (Chloe)
Chloe glares at Rina with a ferocious expression she never shows me. Rina calmly glares back at Chloe.
“You’re not allowed to kill each other! Begin the mock battle!” (Shion)
With my words as the signal, Chloe takes the initiative by shooting an arrow. Rina composedly knocks down the approaching arrow with her sword.
“Burn! ――《Fire Arrow》!” (Chloe)
Chloe unleashes several fire arrows at Rina, but Rina evades them by rolling forward. Chloe, aiming for the gap before Rina fixes her posture, approaches Rina with a dagger at hand and swings it down with a swift motion.
Rina at once steps aside, but the dagger still cuts lightly into her left arm. Furthermore, Chloe presses on with a barrage of attacks without allowing Rina to catch her breath which is also a dagger’s strong point――
“This is really intense.” (Shion)
“Sure is.” (Kanon)
Chloe unleashes a barrage with her dagger, cutting up Rina’s soft and fair skin, but ― Rina was able to avoid a fatal blow. Moreover, Rina begins to get used to Chloe’s speed. She starts to block the short dagger blade with her own sword.
Gradually blood begins to run down on Chloe’s swarthy skin…
Rina released her special ability with a yell. Receiving the sharp slash, Chloe is blown back.
“Kuuh!? T-The likes of an inferior human is…” (Chloe)
Chloe scowls at Rina with a look as if she’s about to kill her while biting her lower lip.
“Are you still going to continue?” (Rina)
In contrast, Rina answers with a calm attitude.
“Alright, it’s over.” (Shion)
I leapt in front of Chloe who was about to charge and announced the end of the mock battle.
Yeah…the difference in power was really bigger than I had expected. I believed they would be evenly matched against her, going by the statuses. Is it because of the different environment? Rina occasionally challenged monsters with a higher level than hers in order to liberate Domains. On the other hand, my bloodkin hunted low-level monsters while relying on the expensive items I gave them. Because the loss of a bloodkin is connected to a huge loss of CP, I ordered them to retreat, if they felt even the slightest inkling of an approaching danger.
Did I pamper them a bit too much? Having said that, I sure want to avoid methods that lower the survival rate.
“Chloe, Blue, Hope, Silver, you may withdraw.” (Shion)
I order my bloodkin to leave the cave.
“Roger ~ssu.” (Blue)
“Yes, master!” (Silver)
“――!? M-Master…one more chance――” (Chloe)
“Didn’t you listen to me? I told you to withdraw.” (Shion)
“Yes… Excuse me.” (Chloe)
Blue, Hope and Silver withdraw obediently, and once I order Chloe, who tries to oppose, once more, she meekly leaves the cave as well.
After making sure that the bloodkin had departed, I call out to Rina.
“What was your impression?” (Shion)
“As they are probably wearing high-ranking items that have been alchemized by you, I can’t judge unconditionally, but…ability-wise they are inferior to the selection members.” (Rina)
“Do you think you can conquer a Domain together with them, if they wear the equipment?” (Shion)
“The previous 4, huh…? I think it will be slightly harsh. Excuse me for the frank advice, but the second one, Hope, was it? He should be left behind. He will just become an unnecessary sacrifice. It will also be a bit hard for the goblin called Blue.” (Rina)
I knew about Hope, but even Blue…? As a result of defeating many humans and monsters, albeit being an E rank monster…Blue grew to the level of being able to win against D rank monsters in an one on one if he gets some back up.
――Blue, come here for a moment.
I summon Blue once more, and also a living mail.
“Chief, you called ~ssu?” (Blue)
Blue shows up in the cave while being nervous.
“Sorry for making you do it again, but please fight against this guy next.” (Shion)
“Eh!? Again ~ssu!?” (Blue)
Blue looks obviously unwilling. The loyalty of Chloe and the dhampir is a bit too heavy, but on the other hand, this guy’s is too fickle. He won’t betray me, will he…? I guess I will prepare some bait, just in case.
“No matter whether you win or lose, I will give you the food you desire.” (Shion)
“Really ~ssu!? Meat is OK, too ~ssu?” (Blue)
“No problem. I will provide you a block of meat.” (Shion)
“Whoaa~!? Roger ~ssu! I’m gonna do it ~ssu!” (Blue)
1 CP is necessary to alchemize 1 block of pig meat (around 1 kg). Since it consumes the same CP as rice (10 kg), it has a bad cost-performance ratio, but it can’t be helped.
This time the mock battle began while he wore his best equipment from the start.
Blue has a Silver Axe, a Silver Breastplate, and a blue-dyed leather cap which is the origin of his name. Given that he wore those items during the expeditions, his body should be familiar with the equipment, too. In contrast, I had the living mail equip a Silver Armor, Silver Shield, Silver Spear and Silver Helm.
There is a bit of a difference to the items each was provided, but I’d like to hope that Blue can cover for it with his experience.
“Neither of you is permitted to kill their opponent. Start the match!” (Shion)
The first to move is Blue. He approached the living mail while raising his ax overhead. The Silver Ax that was swung downward clashes with the readied Silver Shield, causing an intense metallic sound.
“You’re quite the tough~ssu one.” (Blue)
The living mail replies to the roaring Blue by making its body tremble.
Blue swings the ax sideways. While blocking those swings with the shield, the living mail thrusts its Silver Spear at times.
10 minutes after the mock battle started.
Blue has collapsed to the ground in a tattered state, and the living mail adopts a daunting pose with its shield and spear at the ready.
In the end it was the living mail’s victory.
A subordinate I created today is stronger than a goblin who spent more than a month on training, huh…?
I healed Blue with a recovery medicine, gave him the promised meat, and ordered him to leave the cave.
“I suppose it’s necessary to completely reconsider the selection of the invasion team.” (Shion)
“Looks like it.” (Kanon)
Kanon replies to my mumbling.
“Rina, how many team members do you want?” (Shion)
“Let’s see…as for combat forces, me and 6 others. 12 together with supporters, I think.” (Rina)
“Is it going to be alright with so few?” (Shion)
“The point here is balance. Too many will lead to us hindering each other.” (Rina)
“Balance, eh…?” (Shion)
“However, at the very least I want ability at the level of dark elf from just now.” (Rina)
In that case Rina is set as the main attacker. The rest: a werewolf and the ogre are qualified as melee attackers? I think a living mail will do as a tank. Chloe, a lilim and a dhampir as ranged attackers and support. Else I just have to choose some supporters?
“It’s better for the group members to understand each other’s language, right?” (Shion)
“Yeah. If that doesn’t work, I can also ask Kanon to act as translator, but…” (Rina)
“That’s impossible.” (Shion)
Rina is surprised.
“Kanon is no bloodkin. She can’t leave the Domain.” (Shion)
“Sorry. As Shion-san’s strategist, I have to always stay close――” (Kanon)
“She’s convenient as Google-chan after all.” (Shion)
I curtly refuse Kanon who skillfully shows an expression that’s a mix of sadness and self-satisfaction.
Ignoring the shocked look of Kanon, I continue thinking once again.
To make them understand each other, there’s no option but to turn them into bloodkin, is there? In that case it won’t work unless I turn a dhampir, a living mail, a lilim, a werewolf and the ogre into bloodkin, huh…?
Silver instead of a living mail… No, it’s wrong to compromise here. My Creation rank won’t be going up for a while. Deciding the regulars here makes sense.
Then I need at least 50 hours to just turn them into bloodkin, don’t I? Add to that the preparation of equipment…three days will be necessary to get everything ready, I think.
Even though I really want to reconstruct the Domain with the new facilities I became able to create…
As usual I was at my wits’ end due to the many things I have to do.
Chapter 50 – The Goddess of Luck doesn’t smile at me
―Having decided the Domain to be attacked, I also finished making a concept for the participating members.
Since it’s necessary to turn them into bloodkin so that they can go outside the Domain, I just have to wait for the CP to recover now. Once I decided on it, I strictly banned any wasting of CP. The subordinates shared my troubles by only being provided simple food, and my turns as an opponent of the invading humans increased as well while getting some experience at the same time.
Three days later.
“Shion-san, because you killed too many invaders recently, the Hazard Rank of the Second Domain went up.” (Kanon)
So far as it goes I had 1 of 4 parties oppose only rats, wolves, and goblins, who have an excellent fertility, but…did I go too far with annihilating 75% of the humans that invaded?
“If I spread the information that the annihilated parties were too reckless, and later prepare a few high-ranking items in the treasure chests, it will probably return to its previous rank sooner or later.” (Shion)
The invading humans are important resources. I can’t neglect them.
“Isn’t that information way too unreasonable?” (Kanon)
“Dead men tell no tales.” (Shion)
“I suppose, it’s a tough world.” (Kanon)
Rounding up the idle chat with Kanon, I begin turning the remaining ogre into a bloodkin. I have already finished turning a dhampir, a lilim, a living mail and a werewolf into bloodkin.
I offer the 【Blood Chalice】 to the ogre waiting in front of me. The ogre goes down on one knee, accepts the 【Blood Chalice】, and drains down its content in one gulp.
The ogre is wrapped up by a faint brightness. The brightness was absorbed into the ogre, and the ogre became my bloodkin alongside the light’s disappearance.
“Puhaaa! I certainly received the boss’ sake cup pledge1 !”
The ogre bows his head with both hands on his knees while speaking with a throaty voice.
You know, it’s no sake cup pledge, but a blood chalice… I end up drawing back a bit from the ogre with that particular atmosphere around him.
“Boss! Please give me a name as proof of our pledge!”
All subordinates that became bloodkin request a name without fail.
I’m really bad at giving names, though…
There was even a dispute over the naming of the other bloodkin.
At first I named the dhampir Dan Shion, the lilim Lily Shion, and the werewolf Pochi Shion, but Kanon and Rina went to the barricades.
I thought those were good names which are easy to remember…
Dan isn’t womanly? What about Danko then? Refused? Haah? and on and on. It was one huge mess. In the end ― the dhampir is called Layla Shion, the lilim is called Flora Shion, the living mail is called Iron Shion, and the werewolf is called Guy Shion. The names’ origin? Like I care.
It’s a secret that I don’t remember the new names since I’m not used to them.
Oops, I was about to name the ogre, wasn’t I?
“Red. How about Red Shion?” (Shion)
“Boss! Thank you very much! From today I will crush the enemies standing in your way as Red Shion, boss!” (Red)
“Shion-san, you have a tendency to escape into colors if troubled, haven’t you?” (Kanon)
Ignoring the grumbling Kanon, I decided to finally proceed towards the matter of the Domain invasion.
The ones lining up in front of me are: Rina Shion, Layla Shion, Flora Shion, Iron Shion, Guy Shion, Red Shion and Chloe Shion.
“From now on I will inform you about a crucial mission.” (Shion)
I look into the face of each bloodkin. All bloodkin are genuflecting awaiting my next words.
“Rina Shion.” (Shion)
Once I address her, Rina stands up while answering.
“Today you seven bloodkin here will begin the invasion of the A sector’s Domain together with five additional subordinates with Rina as leader.” (Shion)
Everyone except for one confirms.
“Chloe? What’s wrong?” (Shion)
I approach the sole bloodkin that didn’t reply ― Chloe, and asked her.
“Master. …I-I’m well aware that it’s disrespectful, but there’s something I’d like you to tell a fool like me.” (Chloe)
“What is it?” (Shion)
“You haven’t bestowed this time’s mission to the other bloodkin…Silver, Blue and Hope?” (Chloe)
“That’s how it is. Those three’s abilities are insufficient for this mission.” (Shion)
“――!? B-But…” (Chloe)
“N-No, it’s nothing. I’m very sorry for my rudeness.” (Chloe)
Once I pointed a piercing look at Chloe, she remained silent and went on her knees.
Silver, Blue and Hope, huh…? They aren’t so weak that it would be much better for them to not be present. But, their survival rate will probably be remarkably low. Bloodkin are precious combat assets. Moreover, those three possess the possibility of evolution. I don’t want them to lose their lives pointlessly…
By no means did I expect Chloe, who’s a role model of a religious fanatic, to sympathize with those three and go against my opinion. Was the time they spent together too long?
I operate my smartphone and check my current CP.
340, eh? 4 hours and 20 minutes until full recovery.
Can’t be helped. I guess I will reorganize the lineup.
“Yes, master!” (Chloe)
“I’m retracting my previous order.” (Shion)
Chloe widens her eyes, and her expression gradually changes into that of despair.
Chloe calls out to me with a hoarse voice.
“Chloe, I will give you a different mission.” (Shion)
“As you command. I believe that I will be able to meet with master even in my next life――” (Chloe)
“Wait! Listen to me to the end!” (Shion)
I roar at Chloe who very likely…no, most certainly took it the wrong way.
“Chloe, I order you to go on an expedition to train your skills in combat together with Blue, Silver and Hope.” (Shion)
“Train my skills in combat?” (Chloe)
“Yes. You’re not allowed to return to this Domain until everyone has evolved. Understood?” (Shion)
“Certainly! It shall happen as you order, master.” (Chloe)
“Chloe, you may withdraw. Tell the other three about my mission. I permit you to take one subordinate each with you.” (Shion)
Chloe bowed her head and left.
Honestly, I’m also looking forward to the evolution of those three. Besides, I’d like to be spared from fostering a goblin, a kobold and a lycanthrope from the scratch once more.
My initial plans changed, but I think this choice wasn’t wrong.
4 hours and 20 minutes later.
I divide highly treasured items to the seven bloodkin, including the new bloodkin, a dark elf (♂) ― Dakel Shion. As supporters I assigned to them a dhampir (♂), a dark elf (♀), a lilim, a kobold knight, and a goblin archer.
My CP and my inventory has been emptied out. It looks like the rats, wolves, goblins and I will be stuck repelling the humans on a fast rotation.
“Well then, I’m off.” (Rina)
“Do your best. And don’t die!” (Shion)
“Leave it to me.” (Rina)
I cheered on Rina, who announced that powerfully.
It’s the 110th day after I became a Demon King.
I started the invasion into a Domain ruled by another Demon King.