Chapter 116 – vs. Unoke’s Demon King ①
Ten days after I acquired Sarah as a subordinate.
Kaede, who had gone out to investigate, came back to me to file a report.
“Nn, found the Demon King you were searching for, milord.” (Kaede)
“What kind of Demon King is it?” (Shion)
“A hot-blooded Beast Demon King.” (Kaede)
“Did I give you such a specification?” (Shion)
“Hot-blooded, but strong.” (Kaede)
“What’s his location?” (Shion)
Kaede points at a place on the map of the prefecture spread out between us.
Unoke City, huh…? It’s close to the Domain Chloe’s team is currently invading.
“How many sectors does that Demon King’s Domain possess?” (Shion)
“One. Can meet him right away.” (Kaede)
“Hmm? What do you mean?” (Shion)
“Hot-blooded, so will jump at invaders right away.” (Kaede)
“You’re saying the Demon King himself will rush out to defend if the Domain is invaded?” (Shion)
Kaede nods and says, “Nn,” in response.
“Do you know the level of this hot-blooded Demon King?” (Shion)
“Can go outside, so above 10.” (Kaede)
“What? One sector in his Domain, despite being above level 10?” (Shion)
“Hot-blooded, so no subordinates except for doggies.” (Kaede)
Doggies? So wolves, right? Don’t tell me, he spent all BP on 【Body】?
“Kaede, did you see him?” (Shion)
“What kind of items did he wear?” (Shion)
“White cloth and blue pants.” (Kaede)
White cloth and blue pants? T-shirt and jeans? Meaning, his Alchemy is E?
He did well to survive this long…
Going by Kaede’s information, the Demon King in question has Creation and Alchemy at their initial values. There are few humans actively putting effort into invading, and few Demon Kings aiming to expand their Domains, in the Unoke area. Having said that, it’s impossible for him to have zero invasion experience. Humans are always looking for Domains to target, in order to regain as much land as possible, and in the case of Demon Kings, they always search for chances to expand their Domains. A Domain that hasn’t ever been invaded…that would maybe be limited to a pitiful Domain surrounded by my territory.
This might be someone to pick up. If there is cause for concern…it’d probably be that the enemy isn’t smart. As far as I heard, he’s a muscle-brain. I wonder, how should I make him accept a 《Surrender》?
As for situations I can think of…
“Kaede. Me or that Demon King ― who’s stronger?” (Shion)
The most likely scenario would seem to be me challenging him to an one-on-one duel, and have him yield once I win.
“Nn, if it’s night, milord…I think.” (Kaede)
“You believe I would definitely win at night?” (Shion)
“Nn. Because the combat samples were weak humans, definite answer impossible.” (Kaede)
The Demon King discovered by Kaede is very likely a strong combatant that you don’t find often. I guess I will gather information in order to address all possible concerns.
I turn one dhampir into a bloodkin, and assign a living mail and a werewolf as his subordinates. The CP consumed by the creation of a bloodkin is a serious blow, but I decide to think of it as a necessary sacrifice, and have them move out to investigate the enemy’s movements.
The dhampir bloodkin arrives at the Domain in Unoke with his subordinates.
According to Kaede, the internal structure of the Domain ruled by the hot-blooded Demon King is a rural landscape, with fields and houses all lined up, that hasn’t had any Domain Creation applied to it at all.
“Oh? You’re checking out a comrade candidate for Sarah-jou?”
He holds the position of supreme commander of the Domain’s defenses, but Yataro, who doesn’t know what to do with his spare time when things are peaceful, calls out to me.
“It’s a Body-specialized Beast Demon King.” (Shion)
“In other words, a candidate for 【Attacker (Close Combat)】, right?” (Yataro)
“That’s how it is.” (Shion)
Yataro peeks at the live-stream shown on my smartphone, while narrowing his eyes.
“Uh? Judging from appearance…it’s a dhampir I’m not familiar with. Did you create it for this inspection?” (Yataro)
“After all, it’s necessary to have him 《Surrender》 in order to turn him into a bloodkin.” (Shion)
“Hmm…In short, you’re saying this dhampir is a disposable pawn for the sake of obtaining information about the enemy?” (Yataro)
Yataro’s expression turns grim.
Hmm? Yataro is the type of guy who cherishes subordinates to such an extent? Did feelings of sympathy towards subordinates well up in him after he became one himself?
“Shion, do you have a moment?” (Yataro)
“What is it?” (Shion)
“Isn’t this dhampir a bloodkin?” (Yataro)
“He can’t leave the Domain unless he’s a bloodkin.” (Shion)
“Did you know? The CP necessary to turn a subordinate into a bloodkin, and the CP necessary to use 《Random Creation》 are the same!” (Yataro)
My previous worries were completely unfounded. Yataro remains true to his nature. Afterwards, I ignore Yataro’s fervent speech about the necessity of 《Random Creation》, turning my focus towards my smartphone’s display.
“…In other words, randomness is life! In that case, dedicating our fate to the goddess of luck is――” (Yataro)
I forcibly shut Yataro’s mouth, who has continued to kick up a fuss, and concentrate on my smartphone.
“Oh? What unusual invaders.”
A largely built man, who’s overflowing with a feeling of wildness, and wears casual clothing consisting of a t-shirt and jeans, is shown on the display of my smartphone, which is displaying the dhampir’s point of view.
“Hmm? Can’t talk? Ya guys…ain’t no humans, are ya?”
The man reveals a ferocious smile, obviously taunting the dhampir.
“My name is Decoy Shion! Our great Demon King Shio――”
“Haah!? Don’t know anyone like dat!”
The display on my smartphone ― the dhampir’s sight ― reflects the sky for an instant, then the scenery keeps changing.
Was he hit?
――Living mail! Protect Decoy!
――Werewolf! Start attacking!
The living mail and werewolf start moving in accordance to my orders.
“Hah! Nice! Your movements are pretty good!”
The man continues to dodge the swift chain claw attacks unleashed by the werewolf, freely using taijutsu, while smiling.
“Saaay? Ain’t that tail in da way?”
Once the man drives his fist into the werewolf’s abdomen, he circles around behind the werewolf, who rolls his body over, casually grabs its tail, and tosses the werewolf just like that.
The werewolf cries pathetically as it’s slapped on the ground.
“Kyan!, ya say? Ya the same as the doggies over here?”
The man laughs loudly, quickly closes in on the collapsed werewolf, and hammers his heel against the werewolf’s head.
“Mmh~. Ya gotta increase yer weight a bit. The weight of a blow…bah, guess ya can’t hear me anymore.”
The man laughs bitterly while looking bored.
――Living mail, harden your defense!
――Decoy, continue attacking with magic from behind the living mail!
There’s absolutely no chance for the dhampir, who had survived, and the living mail, to win. I give them orders for the sake of getting as much information about the enemy as possible.
“All dat’s left is the armor lad and the frail one over there? Can ya entertain me a bit more than the doggy just now?”
While cracking his knuckles, the man turns to the dhampir and living mail with a wild smile.
Kicking off the ground, he closes the distance between him and the living mail in an instant.
Alongside a yell, he hammers his fist against the shield held up by the living mail. I can hear a violent impact sound, unbelievable for a clash between fist and shield.
The man jumps widely back, and looks at his fist.
“Hah! Be delighted! I will show ya my true form! My name is Demon King ― Takaharu! Uooooooohhh!”
The largely built man ― Demon King Takaharu ― flashes a savage smile, and roars towards the sky.
Once he’s wrapped up by light, his body transforms.
“Ha ha ha! It’s been a while since I last fought in this form!” (Takaharu)
Takaharu lets his mane flutter as he laughs loudly while opening his beast-like mouth with its sharp fangs.
Immediately after I express my honest impression about Takaharu’s true form, as it’s shown on the smartphone’s display, the screen blacks out.
Chapter 117 – vs. Unoke’s Demon King ②
“Did you watch, Kanon?” (Shion)
“Yes… Since it blacked out all of a sudden, further details remain unclear.” (Kanon)
I called out to Kanon who was watching my smartphone’s screen close to me.
“What’s that guy’s true identity?”
“It’s just a guess, but…I think he’s a 【Beast King】.” (Kanon)
“【Beast King】?” (Shion)
Beast king…the literal translation would be something like beast ruler, huh?
“It’s one of the species available as evolution for a Beast Demon King.” (Kanon)
“What are its traits?” (Shion)
“Umm, it’s not just my knowledge, but this also takes information obtained from 『Laplace』 into account, so I can’t guarantee its accuracy, but is that fine with you?” (Kanon)
“I don’t mind.” (Shion)
After learning about the existence of 『Laplace』, a greater part of Kanon’s identity collapsed. However, without getting dispirited, Kanon enhanced her own knowledge by reading through 『Laplace』.
“【Beast King】 is a Body specialized species. Beast Demon Kings have another Body-specialized species called 【Beast Lord】, however the distinct difference between those two is ― the combat style.” (Kanon)
“Combat style?” (Shion)
“Yes. 【Beast Lord】 is the final evolution level of a kobold. On the other hand, 【Beast King】 seems to have the trait of fighting with one’s own body, using 《Beastification》.”
“Yep. It’s a special ability, which is kind of like a super-charged form of the special ability that Hope-san learned before. Its biggest characteristics are the sharp claws growing at the hands, and body hair that turns as hard as steel covering the body. In addition, they also have sharp fangs…they appear to specialize in unarmed combat.” (Kanon)
“What a troublesome opponent… Any weak points?” (Shion)
“Their weak point is durability, I’d say? Although they can harden their body hair, the hair’s sturdiness seems to be at the level of a C rank item. …Though, that’s information from 『Laplace』…” (Kanon)
The more I hear…the less I feel like I can win in an one-on-one. Theoretically, our Body ranks are the same at night. Although he’ll be covered with tough body hair and sharp claws, I might win out when wearing a full set of B rank items. However, it looks like I’m very inferior when it comes to agility and combat experience.
In that case, we have no option but to win against quality with quantity, do we?
Gathering the bloodkin and challenging him with the strongest members will be easy, but…there’s a high chance that there will be losses among my bloodkin. Even if I gain a single, excellent subordinate, it’ll be meaningless if I lose more than one excellent subordinate in exchange.
As such, it’s absolutely necessary to carefully select the subordinates I take along.
Right now, my strongest subordinate is ― Izayoi, albeit with conditions attached.
Izayoi and me…the rest will be ten lilims who excel at ranged attacks, and twelve living mails to be used as shields.
The lilims will single-mindedly attack from a distance with magic, and the living mails will protect the lilims with their lives. Izayoi and I will be in charge of cornering him once he weakens, to urge him to 《Surrender》.
How about this?
I run multiple simulations in my head.
If I feel that it’s dangerous or impossible, Izayoi and I just have to retreat.
After all, we won’t die from one blow, will we…? No way, right?
Driven by anxiety, I turn one living mail into a bloodkin. I add three living mails to it as its subordinates. I splurge on the bloodkin living mail, and give it a full set of mithril armor. Its three subordinates receive C rank items from me.
And then, I make them head out on a second investigation of Demon King Takaharu.
The second enemy investigation was a success.
The four living mails endured Takaharu’s onslaught for ten minutes. Because they devoted themselves to defense, they didn’t deliver any damage, but I succeeded in reading his attack patterns to some extent.
What I should be careful of among Takaharu’s attacks, are his claw attacks aimed at the carotid artery. The dhampir, who died in the first investigation, very likely perished after receiving that attack. As long as we are wary of that attack, there’s no worry about us dying in one attack. Izayoi and I might actually be able to endure more than ten attacks. Of course, neither of us would have the slightest intention to take those attacks meekly.
The sacrifices expended so far to turn Takaharu into my subordinate are two bloodkin and five subordinates. No matter how much my maximum CP increases, turning someone into a bloodkin always consumes all my CP. The sacrifices were big, but the gains were big as well ― as if saying so, I put my preparations perfectly in order.
Alongside sunset, I head towards Takaharu’s Domain, while taking Izayoi and 22 subordinates along.
“Shion-sama, the moon tonight is very beautiful, isn’t it?” (Izayoi)
“Indeed. The night wind feels nice as well.” (Shion)
I walk across the road at night, while basking in the moonlight together with Izayoi.
“Izayoi, night is our time. I will rely on you.” (Shion)
“Yes, milord. I, Izayoi Shion, swear on this name and the moon shining down upon us, I shall definitely carry out my duty.”
Izayoi bows his head respectfully. Until recently, I was worried whether this plan would work out well. However, those worries were wiped away as I gazed at the moon illuminating the sky, and Izayoi who’s brimming with confidence.
Afterwards, we head towards Takaharu’s Domain, while enjoying the quiet air of night.
One hour later.
“So it’s here, huh?” (Shion)
The scenery, which I had observed on the smartphone’s screen around a half day before, is reflected in my eyes.
“If the enemy’s boss ― Demon King Takaharu ― doesn’t show up after three hours, we will retreat.” (Shion)
“It shall be as thou order, Shion-sama.” (Izayoi)
Takaharu being a muscle-brain is just my prejudice. It’s possible that he will see through my identity as a vampire, just like Yataro, and stay away from us at night.
I carefully step into Takaharu’s Domain, while having the twelve living mails form the vanguard.
Inside the tranquil, rural area, we slowly advance through the Domain with a progression speed similar to that of a snail.
Considering a retreat in the worst case, I don’t want to be too far from the entrance. However, it’s also possible that he will become suspicious if we loiter around at the entrance area.
I continue walking slowly, while remaining cautious of my surroundings. We proceed for around an hour like that. Just when I am about to succumb to the worry that Takaharu might actually be one of the intelligent people――
“The fuck!? Stop dawdlin’ ’round.” (Takaharu)
A largely built man overflowing with wildness ― Demon King Takaharu ― shows up ahead of us, looking listless.