Ten days after I added Saburou as a subordinate.
Rina and Chloe have been smoothly proceeding with the expansion of my Domain. At this rate, I expect to reach the Domain rumored to have two Demon Kings, in three days.
They have usurped three Domains since Saburou became my subordinate, but none of those Demon Kings became my subordinates. Probably because I was unable to go myself, since the Domains weren’t indoor types.
Should I have evolved into a Daylight Vampire instead?
Vampires possess peerless strength in darkness ― indoors, but having come this far, being unable to fight outdoors has become a huge shackle.
Capturing a Domain only during the night…is unreasonable. Having said that, it’s too much of a risk to appear in front of enemies while weakened by daylight.
When I gave Saburou reasonably good items and ordered him to repel invaders as a test…he delivered good results. That was enough to make me deeply bitter about my meager ability to recruit more Demon King subordinates.
“Shion-sa～n…gah, hiii!?” (Kanon)
In the middle of flying over while yelling my name, Kanon catches sight of Saburou, who had come here by chance, and leaks a small scream.
“Mu? Kanon-tan? What might be causing you distress? Even if I look like this, I’m a tight-lipped man. Please feel free to consult with me about everything, as fellow leaders serving Shion-sama!” (Saburou)
Seeing Saburou spreading both arms to block her path, Kanon begins to tremble.
“Tight-lipped? You have no right to stay silent towards me, you know? While we’re at it, you’re no leader.” (Shion)
“Ha ha ha! Shion-sama, do you still wish to test mine strength? Feel free to do so! Mine strength has grown even further due to the items you granted me. However, the plan to use this power for the sake of anyone besides Shion-sama…and Kanon-tan is――” (Saburou)
“Saburou, there are invaders in the 35th sector. Take dhampirs and living mails along and go repel them. ――《Transfer B》.” (Shion)
I give an order to Saburou, who is talking in a long-winded way, and forcibly transfer him to the 35th sector.
“Thank you very muchhh!” (Kanon)
Kanon emotionally thanks me.
“Good grief, Kanon, get a grip already and familiarize yourself with Saburou.” (Shion)
“Eh!? Impossible.” (Kanon)
Kanon instantly replies.
“Well, whatever. What business do you have with me?” (Shion)
“Ah! Yes, I found information that bothers me.” (Kanon)
“Information that bothers you?” (Shion)
“Yes. Please look at this.” (Kanon)
Kanon stops at my shoulder and holds out the display of her small smartphone.
Listen, my brethren and bitter enemies, D ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to establish a network for my brethren. As proof that I’m your brethren, I will present the following text. Dear D ladies and gentlemen, if you understand this text, recognize me as your brethren, and feel like cooperating with me, then send a mail to the following mail address.
H: S1, R2, B3. W3, G5
R: W1, K2
“What is this?” (Shion)
“Umm, that is…it’s a text that has been posted on various forums, but Shion-san, do you understand what it means?” (Kanon)
“Absolutely no clue. Did you take a peek at SM1 sites?” (Shion)
Listen, my brethren and bitter enemies, D ladies and gentlemen ― brethren probably means just that. I would infer that it’s a dispute over some queen2 with a bitter enemy, but…is it something else?
“The meaning of this text is very likely――” (Kanon)
Kanon began to explain the meaning of the text she had shown me.
Chapter 95 – Suspicious Information ②
“The meaning of this text is very likely ― a message to Demon Kings.” (Kanon)
Kanon states with a serious look.
“A message to Demon Kings?” (Shion)
I parrot Kanon’s words as a question.
“Listen, my brethren and bitter enemies, D ladies and gentlemen ― it appears the 『D』 refers to Demon Kings.” (Kanon)
Did Kanon awaken somehow? Her usual lisping tone is calm and steady.
“D = Demon King? What’s your basis for that assumption?” (Shion)
“Let’s see. The basis is the ciphertext following afterwards. It has the preface 『if you understand this text, and recognize me as your brethren』. The cipher text 『H: S1, R2, B3. W3, G5 R: W1, K2』 contains a listing of alphanumeric values.” (Kanon)
“Certainly, that’s written there.” (Shion)
“What does H specify? I guessed it to be 『haika3 』. In that case, S becomes slime, R becomes rat, and B becomes bat.” (Kanon)
After listening to Kanon’s words, I lower my eyes on the ciphertext a second time.
Thereupon I see the ciphertext in a new light.
“To be precise, it might be 『Haika4 Creation』.” (Shion)
“Yes! In other words, the values added behind the alphabetical characters ― the subordinate races, represent the necessary CP to create them. If you decipher the rest of the alphanumeric values with the same system…” (Kanon)
“Right, right! I’d expect nothing less of you, Shion-san!” (Kanon)
Once I guess correctly, Kanon expresses her joy by jumping around.
“In short, this text was written by some Demon King, addressed to a great number of Demon Kings?” (Shion)
“That should be it. There are many stupid Demon Kings that talked about Creation on the Internet, but as much as I searched, I didn’t find a single Demon King on the Internet who had also revealed the Creation CP costs. That means the writer of this text, who knows about the necessary CP to create subordinates…must be a Demon King.” (Kanon)
“And that person is telling the Demon Kings, who realize that they are a Demon King and wish to cooperate with him, to send an email to the email address written here?” (Shion)
“That’s how it is. What should we do?” Kanon asks me.
“It’s a very roundabout way of doing things, isn’t it…?” (Shion)
“It’s just my assumption, but…maybe they don’t want the kind of Demon Kings who aren’t clever enough to figure it out?” (Kanon)
Seeing Kanon puffing up her nose while talking about being clever, irritates me.
“Which reminds me, it’s a little bit of a topic change, but Saburou made a request to use 《Drain》 on you, is it okay if I allow it?” (Shion)
“Eh…!? Isn’t that too much of a topic change? …Sorry. Can I have you pardon me for whatever I did…? How about dogeza…? Ah! But if it’s you, I don’t particularly min――” (Kanon)
“So, to return to the topic…what do you think is the objective of this guy?” (Shion)
Kanon has become pale and trembles repeatedly. I get a hunch that she’s going to make a stupid proposal soon, so I decide to return to the topic.
“――Wh-!? Was there any meaning to the conversation just now!?” (KAnon)
If anything, I simply got irritated by Kanon’s self-satisfied look. Feeling much better now, I guess the intention of the person who posted that message on the forums.
“One possibility is that they wish to build friendly relationships…or a treaty with the goal of nonintervention? Or an alliance relation going beyond that? However, this text has been addressed to an unspecified, large number of Demon Kings. In that case, the Demon Kings’ location will be unknown. If the writer were a Demon King of Hokkaido…is there any point in him forming an alliance with me who is in Kanezawa? … There isn’t , right?” (Shion)
In order to gather my thoughts, I murmur out loud to Kanon.
“Uuh…Shion-san’s monologue has started. And he’s concluding things by himself.” (Kanon)
“You say Uuh…, but for the time being don’t miss it since it’s possible that I will consult even with a self-proclaimed strategist, okay?” (Shion)
“Ah!? Okaaay!” (Kanon)
Is she smart or not…? Most likely not. While amazed by the self-proclaimed strategist, I continue my considerations.
“The second possibility is a sharing of information. Humanity is sharing its information freely through the Internet. The Domains’ Hazard ranks, the traits of classes, information about class ups…just like capture sites against Demon Kings. On the other hand, Demon Kings have a hard time sharing information because of our disposition. If you don’t know the face, name, place, and contact address…information sharing is limited to the Internet. But…that’s where the problem lies. Kanon, what’s the demerit of sharing information through the Internet?” (Shion)
“Eh!? All of a sudden a quiz format!? Umm, umm…” (Kanon)
“Too bad, you’re out of time. The correct answer is the information will be exposed to the humans as well, allowing them to refine countermeasures. However, what would be a measure to bypass this problem…?” (Shion)
“Wouldn’t that be to set up a site that only special people…Demon Kings can browse?” (Kanon)
“Tsk! Correct.” (Shion)
“――Wha-!? W-Why the tongue-clicking…?” (Kanon)
I adopted a quiz format to avoid the audience getting bored, but if the questions are too easy, it won’t be interesting.
“For example…the Demon King, who wrote this text, schemed it so that it won’t be exposed that he’s a Demon King. In other words, is it about gathering Demon Kings who can share information so that it won’t be exposed to the humans? The merit of being able to browse an information site that can only be accessed by Demon Kings is huge. However…the problem is whether I will be able to obtain significant information beyond what I can obtain through Kanon, isn’t it?” (Shion)
“Eh? What did you say? Can you repeat the last line onc――” (Kanon)
“The third possibility is a trap. A trap by a Demon King trying to obtain information about other Demon Kings. A trap planted by the humans, using information they heard from Demon Kings as a basis.” (Shion)
“Basically humans… Ah! It’s because humans are creatures who find it hard to save everyone, including the former humans, the Demon Kings.” (Kanon)
Bitterness overflows from Kanon.
“That’s about it as for my guesses. Excluding the first possibility, what are your thoughts?” (Shion)
“Well…if you ask me like that, it’s difficult.” (Kanon)
Kanon tilts her head to the side in contemplation, being troubled how to answer.
“By the way, we have to send an email, right? And what if we were to be invited? Is there any possibility for it to result in demerits for our side?” (Shion)
“As long as we don’t present any information from our side…wouldn’t it be something like getting infected with a virus in the worst case?” (Kanon)
“Kanon, how many smartphones were usable among the ones we stole from humans?” (Shion)
“There are more than 10 smartphones which can be used after initializing them.” (Kanon)
“I guess we will register with a free email service and try sending the email with a suitable smartphone.” (Shion)
Having decided on our plan, Kanon and I immediately go into action.
“I got an email address!” (Kanon)
“Let me see…――!?” (Shion)
The email address Kanon had registered was email@example.com.
“Kanon…this email address is…” (Shion)
“Hmm? What is it?” (Kanon)
“No, nothing…is it fine to just send a blank email?” (Shion)
“I will try doing so.” (Kanon)
While Kanon smiles broadly at me, who has drawn away from her, she operates the smartphone.
Once she sends a blank email, we immediately receive a reply.
『Thou are to present proof of being a D brethren.』
“How should I answer?” (Kanon)
“Let’s see…isn’t it fine to answer with 『H：K=10. D＝50』?” (Shion)
“Kobold and dark elf, right!? Okaaay.” (Kanon)
Afterwards, there was no reply for quite some time.
“This text has been posted on various forums, right?” (Shion)
“There will be many prank mails and spam, so it might take some time to carefully check the mails.” (Shion)
“That’s possible.” (Kanon)
In the end, no reply came, even after we waited for three days. Rina and Chloe arrived at the Domain with the two Demon Kings. I left my Domain in order to join the invasion.