Dungeon Defense: Volume 1 – Chapter 4 (Part 2)
Chapter 4 – Romantic Deceptive Tactics (Part 2)
▯Mixed Blood, Lapis Lazuli
Empire Calendar: Year 1505, Month 4, Day 18
Niflheim, Hermes’ Plaza
The glass shattered.
For a moment, everyone’s gaze focused onto here.
There were over 200 people in this plaza, but no one had spoken a word. Due to the silence, the sound of a glass shattering echoed loudly…… It was a mere single glass, but it was so loud that it could reach the furthest corners of the plaza.
“Aaang?” (TL note: Not the last airbender)
Andromalius looked over here.
His slanted eyes resembled that of a fox and were detestable to look at. You could see his vulgar personality and foul temper just from his gaze.
“What are you supposed to be? You aren’t going to lower you eyes?”
Andromalius spoke towards his highness Dantalian.
His highness Dantalian was unresponsive. What was he thinking? I turned to carefully check on his highness’ complexion and— my spine became cold.
It was that face.
The expression he made when he had discovered prey and was waiting for it with ease.
It wasn’t the face of a deadbeat which he normally had. A faint smile was drifting around the edges of his highness’ lips. It was the face he made when an ominous scheme, a wicked plot had formed in his head.
It seemed that the other party did not recognize his highness Dantalian. It was not weird. Since his highness’ horn was buried under his hair so it was barely visible.
Andromalius spit on the floor.
“Wow, look at that. He’s not lowering his eyes at all.”
After kicking the old dwarf one more time, he made his way towards us. The way he swayed looked like he was some wild cat that had found a new toy to play with.
The demon races who were sitting nearby cautiously backed away as he passed. They probably didn’t want to get caught up in the trouble.
On the other hand, the Berbere witches silently stayed in their seats. They had been hired by his highness Dantalian. Their pride wouldn’t allow them to do something like leaving his highness behind and running away.
“To see some peasants with no ethics.”
It seemed that he was displeased that the witches had not greeted him despite having seen him. Andromalius narrowed his brows.
“If you meet a Demon Lord then you should at least greet them with a bow, but what is this? Why are you being conceited with your chins held up?”
Andromalius strongly grabbed one of the witch’s hair. The witch let out a pained moan.
The witch’s name was Beatrice. I had heard that it had been a long time since she had participated in an escort trip, as she had concealed herself for several decades. Witches had itchy feet so it was common for them to go wandering for more than a hundred years. To end up getting involved with Andromalius subsequently to taking a request after a long period of time. That witch had terrible luck.
“Oii, slaves. A Demon Lord is here. It’s one of the honorable Demon Lords that gave you life and feeds you. You should be greeting me politely, and yet you’re not even budging from your seat.”
You could hear the sound of some hair ripping.
Despite that, the witch kept her mouth shut.
It was a problem of etiquette. If the witches were to greet Andromalius here, then they would be admitting that Andromalius was a higher class than that of his highness Dantalian. It was vital for these witches to maintain their respect to his highness.
“Hoh. look at this.”
Andromalius smiled sadistically.
“The entire group of slaves have become mute. If your tongues are retarded then you should at least move your heads. Wow, all your necks are so stiff. Should this great one straighten them for you? Don’t refuse and……”
“What a garbage like man.”
It was then that his highness Dantalian had opened his mouth.
“I said you were a garbage like man. I had thought it was only your brain that was rotten, but it seems your ears had festered as well.”
You could sense the shock of the people in the plaza through the air.
Even I had thought for a second that I had misheard. Garbage? It was a word that was not allowed to be said to a Demon Lord in a public place. Andromalius’ face quickly distorted.
“How dare you say such thoughtless words to this great one……”
“This is why delinquents with overinflated egos are pathetic. If you don’t have the money to pay for your drink, then apologize and leave. To find some fault and then proceed to beat up an elderly. It wasn’t enough that you had shamelessly advertised about your denseness in a loud voice, but you even went and picked on witches as well.”
His highness Dantalian laughed.
“And yet you still go around loudly calling yourself ‘great one’. This is quite the masterpiece. Andromalius. You are not a Demon Lord. You are nothing more than a rookie that was somehow born with a horn on their head.”
“The Gods truly are cruel. They made garbage like you into a Demon Lord in this world. Even saintesses would resent the Gods if they were to see your dirty mug. As days go by, it couldn’t be helped if the amount of devote believers were to go down……”
Andromalius’s complexion turned alternately pale and red.
If you looked carefully, then you could see that his shoulders were shaking. It was obvious. He had probably never received such severe insults in his entire life as a Demon Lord.
Andromalius shouted at the people around us.
“What are you all doing!? Why aren’t you taking this shameless man away immediately!?”
His highness Dantalian, as if he sincerely thought it was funny, snorted.
“See, is he not a masterpiece? He can’t even recognize a person of the same race right in front of him. Not only his ears, but his eyes must be festered as well, to the point that it wouldn’t be enough to treat him like a corpse.”
His highness shrugged.
“I am Rank 71st, Demon Lord Dantalian. Referentially, the witches that you had mistreated are the escorts I have hired for the day.”
“Do apologize for having mistreated my precious bodyguards as you pleased.”
His highness lowered his beer glass. (TL note: I think he dropped someone else’s glass earlier)
“Do you understand? Sincerely apologize and leave. This may be difficult for the mentally challenged, but this is basic manners in society. Use this opportunity to learn.”
“Hah. And I was wondering what kind of incredible aristocrat you were supposed to be.”
Andromalius mocked triumphantly.
Despite the other person being his highness Dantalian, he was only higher by one rank. He was a small fry who didn’t have any remarkable talent and no reliable group behind his back. That was most likely what Andromalius was thinking.
That was foolish. There was nothing more idiotic than being careless while in front of his highness Dantalian.
His highness may normally be a severe deadbeat, but that was nothing more than a deceptive mask. His highness’ true self was actually a devilish fiend. He purposely lead the other party into being careless, and then consumed them in a single moment.
Andromalius most likely did not know any of this. There was still a mean smile on the edge of his lips. He was like a warthog charging straight towards the edge of a cliff.
“Is that so. Is it Dantalian. Iyaaah, I heard you were on a roll these days. There was a rumor spreading that some fool had made an outcast into his mistress. Yes. If you’re Dantalian…… then this must be that famous crossbreed.”
(TL note: Should I change outcast to untouchable?)
Andromalius now turned to look at me.
Did the target change from his highness to myself?
“The peasant that had fearlessly enticed a Demon Lord with their body! Sure enough. That hair of yours even resembles that vulgar bloodline of yours.”
Andromalius hit my cheek with his palm.
His hand stung fairly. He may had been tapping me playfully, but I could feel his real intentions.
“I really can’t understand your preference. Why would you want to score this kind of girl? Her appearance is decent, but the actually important bloodline is just foul.”
The act of changing his target to me was an okay decision.
Demon lords may have been sacred and inviolable, but they were not sacred to other Demon Lords. In other words, they were equal. If a Demon Lord were to hit another Demon Lord then troublesome common laws would intervene. On the other hand, it was okay to freely strike an outcast.
The reason why Andromalius had started to aim at me laid within here too. He had judged that it would be difficult to dominate with his rank alone, so he had quickly found another weak target.
“Or is it perhaps that? Your bottom mouth is just that impressive so you were able to captivate that Dantalian?”
Andromalius started snickering.
“I say. This great one is considering to give you my royal grace, but what do you think? For a person born as a peasant to be able to lay 2 Demon Lords. There’s isn’t an honor greater than this!”
“Kuha! On one side is the rank 71st imbecile. And on the other side is the bitch born by some broad being raped by a lowly human. Is this not the masterpiece? Huh?”
Andromalius slapped my cheek.
There was no playfulness in it this time. It purely contained the intent to be violent. My head ended up turning because of the excessively strong hit.
—That hurt quite a lot.
However, it was trivial.
Since a young age, I had been exposed to violence so many times that I had become dulled to it. There was a time I had stones tossed at me by the village people on a daily basis. Compared to that, Andromalius’ hit was like that of a child.
People may not be able to get accustomed to pain, but people can get accustomed to bearing the pain. That is what people are. And I am one of those people.
I returned my gaze forward.
As soon as I did so, the laughter in Andromalius’ voice stopped.
“Aaang? The hell are you looking at?”
Andromalius slapped me once more. It felt like he had put all of his weight into his hand that time. Unfortunately, at this point, it was proven that Andromalius did not spend his time exercising. His hit wasn’t heavy at all.
I looked forward again.
“……Both master and servant are annoying!”
Andromalius bellowed out.
He swung his arm over and over again. And each time my head was moved by the force. But it was useless. Since it’d returned back to its original position.
Seeing that, Andromalius’ face slowly started to collapse into rage. To not be able to contain his childish rage, how low. It was at the point where I couldn’t bear to watch him.
I wonder if his highness Dantalian had thought the same thing, he had been chuckling besides me.
“What a sight this is, Andromalius. To be an honorable Demon Lord and yet be unable to make a single outcast submit to you. This is unheard of. Are you sure it wasn’t a mistake by the Gods that you had become a Demon Lord? Originally, were you not supposed to be born as a peasant?”
Andromalius’ face became red hot.
“T-This great one…… this great one……!”
“It’s okay. You do not have to make excuses. Even Gods have times where they doze off while working.”
His highness Dantalian smiled.
“However, this shall be the last time that I warn you. Do not lay your hand on my beloved again. And sincerely apologize for beating my escorts and my lover.”
“Don’t make me laugh!”
Andromalius, with his fist, hit me with all his strength. I fell back from my chair and rolled onto the floor. The witches let out a scream.
My mouth was tingling from the impact. With my tongue, I could taste something like iron in my mouth. I took out a napkin and wiped the corners of my mouth. The napkin became red with blood.
I raised my body slowly.
“The death penalty for you!”
Andromalius was waving his finger at me.
There was hatred in his eyes. Was it not surprising? How someone could despise another person so much after having only just met them. They were setting their emotions at an unimaginably low price.
Unfortunately, as a merchant, I could not respect the half-wit who was trying to sell their product for dirt cheap.
“The death penalty! You’ll receive capital punishment! Something like an outcast, we can give you a summary conviction without even having a trial……! Even if you were to die by this great one’s hands, you can’t resist! Do you know that!? Apologize for acting so impudently before this great one!”
Death sentence, death sentence. He was noisy.
To only be able to spout the same word over and over again. That showed the man’s level of intelligence. A 5-year-old goblin would probably display a more diverse vocabulary. I, with the same expressionless face, stared back at Andromalius.
“This bitch, till the very end!”
Andromalius made his way towards me.
“Fine! I’ll tear your mouth right now, bitch! Go to hell and repent on—iiii, guaaaaaak!?”
However, he was not able to even take 5 steps.
All the people in the plaza let out a scream at once. Andromalius had fallen to the floor. From his neck, dark red blood poured out.
“Uh, uuah? Aaaaack!?”
Andromalius instinctively moved his hands to block the wound.
The blood volume was serious. It wasn’t some cute scratch that you could just cover with the palm of your hand and stop it. Andromalius, looking at the amount of blood on his hand, let out a cry.
It was a single blow aimed at a vital point.
In order to give certain death in one strike.
Seeing that, I thought that it really—.
Really befitted his highness Dantalian’s hunting method.
His highness Dantalian wiped the blood off of his dagger.
“To treat my warning as a trifling matter.”
His highness Dantalian’s carefreeness was boundless. Out of the hundreds of people in the entire plaza, his highness was the only one who was relaxed. As if he was far away from the buzzing atmosphere around us.
‘Did this person really just stab Andromalius?’
To the point that people would inadvertently doubt themselves and think that.
Regardless, his highness was holding a blade in his hand which was dripping with blood. The dripping blood adamantly rid people of any doubt.
I wonder if it was because the person who had caused the incident was so relaxed. The plaza that was buzzing with noise a second ago, had started to quiet down. A suffocating silence fell over the plaza. In that silent air, his highness Dantalian’s voice echoed lowly.
“Yes, your highness.”
I immediately bowed my head.
“Recite the occasion a Demon Lord is allowed to attack another Demon Lord.”
“As this one is ordered to. For a Demon Lord to do harm to another Demon lord, one must first respectfully warn the other party twice. When the other party clearly ignores the warning, and proceeds to severely damage the honor of the first Demon Lord, then that Demon Lord may attack the other.
A common law.
Because Demon Lords were sacred, they were free from earthly laws. However, if conflict were to occur between Demon Lords, then they had to be confined to the common laws. The common law that I had just recited was known as the 「Coctyus Warning」.
According to legends, if a person were to die then they had to cross over 5 rivers. Acheron, Coctyus, Phlegethon, Lethe, and Styx…… Coctyus was the second river. If a deceased were to cross over the Coctyus river, they would eventually reach Phlegethon, where instead of water it was a river of lava. Here people would fall into the river and have their souls lit aflame. That was why, when giving the Coctyus Warning, it meant that you were telling the other party to back off before they got burned.
“C-Coctyus Warning……? Keuhk! You bastard, do you even know what nonsense you’re saying!?”
That kind of response was natural.
Normally, Coctyus Warning was only used in the events of a war. If a Demon Lord wanted to attack another Demon Lord’s base, then they had to send a declaration of war twice. The warning was used in this kind of situation.
It’s original purpose was to prevent war. By declaring that sudden attacks without having sent a declaration of war beforehand was illegal, in conclusion, had the effect of restraining conflict. His highness Dantalian was cleverly abusing this common law.
“Keuk, it’s the end for you bastard! Dantalian! The end…… The other Demon Lords won’t let this slide easily…… keub! It’s too late to cry and beg for forgiveness! This great one will never forgive you!”
“The one at their end is you.”
His highness Dantalian stepped on the back of Andromalius’ hand. The sound of bones breaking echoed. Andromalius cried out even more sorrowfully and flailed on the floor.
“Rank 72nd Demon Lord. The crimes you have committed are as followed. First, you had mocked and beat the escorts I had hired without any reason. Second, you had irrationally assaulted my lover.”
His highness Dantalian looked around and spoke in a loud voice.
“I had respectfully requested for Andromalius to stop, but he had ignored me. He had not only threatened my safety, but he had harmed my honor as well. Everyone here is a witness!”
The people in the plaza started to mumble amongst one another.
Andromalius was most likely no longer in his highness’ thought anymore. His highness Dantalian was aiming to drag these people here in as witnesses.
Taking off his gloves and throwing them aside, he grabbed my left hand as well, followed by taking off the glove that was on that hand. And as if to show the world, his highness raised my left hand high.
The ring on my annular finger.
A blue diamond shone brightly and sparkled.
A similar ring was on his highness’ annular finger as well.
“I am a Demon Lord. This youngster is a peasant. Us two are not permitted to be wedded. However, swearing to the Goddess Aphrodite, I, Dantalian, the rank 71st Demon Lord declare my love for this girl! This ring is proof of that! Even if society were to forbid our marriage, our hearts are already connected!”
The people let out a gasp.
A Demon Lord had confessed his love for a peasant. In a public plaza and in front an audience of hundreds of people, at that.
From tomorrow on, the high societies were going to be flipped over. The gossip of the passionate love between a Demon Lord and an outcast will be talked about everywhere. It was a natural phenomenon. Regardless of the generation, people were bound to get excited by the topic of ‘forbidden love’.
That was where his highness’ deception laid.
In this grand love story, the character known as Andromalius fell into being a mere supporting role.
A crafty trick.
If his highness Dantalian were to simply murder Andromalius, what would have happened? Inevitably, it would become nothing more than a murder case.
But if he were to commit murder for ‘the peasant he loved’, then the story was different. The monotonous murder play would change into a forbidden love performance.
His highness and myself were Romeo and Juliet.
Andromalius was the supporting character, Tybalt, who gets murdered by Romeo.
The truth was easily distorted.
“T-To fall in love with an outcast. What madness. Insane…… A disgrace of a Demon Lord!”
Andromalius let out a pained groan.
That poor man had no idea. He was going to face his end without knowing what kind of scheme he was being swept up in. I felt a touch of sympathy for him.
“You bastard. You don’t deserve the right to be called the same race as this great one. Hierarchy is a sacred order. For you to dare go against the order of nature……!”
“I wonder. Order of nature is it?”
His highness lowered his gaze towards Andromalius.
A quiet, but horrifying whisper flowed from his highness’ lips.
“Let me tell you what the true order of nature is. Rookie. It’s the law of the jungle. If a cat were to go against a tiger, then the only result would be death. The truth of the world is quiet the simple and boring thing. Don’t you think?”
It was then that Andromalius’ complexion turned pale.
He had probably now barely realized that his highness Dantalian was truly going to kill him.
But it was too late.
“That is why I personally prefer lies over truth. Like how a bare face would require make-up, it is essential for life to have some spice.”
Without inquiring into the right or wrong, his highness swung his dagger.
The blade stabbed into Andromalius’ throat just like that.
Blood flooding into Andromalius’ windpipe forced him to vomit blood.
“Spare me? That is a terribly boring line. In our already boring lives, that only further tortures us in agony. I see boredom as the sin of humanity, and find it similar to that of a harmful insect that deserves to be exterminated.”
His highness whispered.
It was in such a low volume that only I, who was sitting right besides him, could hear it.
“Next time, come back after practicing better dying words, you third-rate actor.”
Like a doll who had its strings cut, his head fell limp.
Was the last emotion that flashed in his eyes fear, or was it hatred for his highness Dantalian. I thought both options were very much possible.
His highness straightened his back and glanced around the plaza. No one tried to make eye contact with his highness. They were all instinctively trying to avoid his highness’ eyes. Everyone had been consumed by his highness Dantalian’s composed atmosphere.
It was amazing. His highness Dantalian was single-handedly overwhelming this large plaza.
Until now, I had thought that a king’s grandeur was nothing more than an abstract concept. However, after looking at his highness, I understood. His highness had something that could overwhelm the audience.
He was not dominating the citizens with fear. He was not attracting people with prestige. Something much different was lurking……
Why he didn’t show off this ability in the past. How he was enlightened with a tremendous amount of talent after overcoming a life or death situation with the adventurers. The current me could not answer any of this.
“You held on well, Lala.”
“My vassal should never thoughtlessly submit to another individual. When you refused to turn your gaze till the very end, despite being hit by Andromalius, I was quite impressed. You are a brilliant woman.”
His highness laughed slyly.
Hearing that light laughter, I thought.
In the end, it was not the wrong choice to serve under his highness.
For the first time today, I was certain.
▯Keuncuska Executive, Miser Goblin, Torukel
Empire Calendar: Year 1505, Month 8, Day 16
Keuncuska Firm Headquarters, Highest floor
The highest floor of the headquarters.
It was a place where only a small handful of executives had access to.
No one else was here in this large room. Only a bunch of coffins were spread out across the room…… At glance, the amount was over thirty.
No matter how many times I saw this, it gave me a guilty conscience(?)(TL note: 께름칙하다 not sure how to translate this). Vampires nowadays claimed that coffins were too old-school and did not use them anymore. They all properly slept on beds. Yet again, I realized that Ivar Lodbrok was an old chap who had fallen behind on the times.
It was at the time I had turned my head to read a book.
I jumped in surprise and turned around.
A short witch was smiling back wickedly.
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“If you’re here then say so!”
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help but want to tease you the moment I saw you, Mr. Torukel.”
“Keruruk, I felt like my heart would drop…… but what’s with that weird way of speech?”
The witch walked in strides towards a black coffin.
If I recalled correctly her name was Beatrice. She was originally a witch that was part of the Berbere Sisters. Several decades ago, after conflicting with Ivar Lodbrok, she was captured by this side. Yesterday, they went out saying that they were going to dig up information on Lapis Lazuli. In other words, act as a spy.
“My way of speech?”
The witch sat on top of the coffin. Her voice may have been coy but her face was all smiles. That pervert. They were most definitely enjoying this situation.
“What about my speech, Mr. Torukel the Miser?”
“It’s disturbing enough that I feel like my stomach is twisting…… jeez. There’s no point in nagging since you won’t listen anyways. Whatever. Tell me about Lapis Lazuli’s movements. You’re back since you were able to gain new information, are you not?”
“Please do not be in such a rush, Mr. Torukel. Men who push women are not popular. Since you’re always like that, that’s why you haven’t had a wife for over a hundred years, .”
“I am voluntarily single!”
The witch burst out in laughter.
Even her laugh was witch-like. This is making me go mad.
“I wonder. There is one important thing I found out. Demon Lord Dantalian had fallen deeper in love with the succubus than we had originally thought. He even brazenly confessed his love for the girl in the middle of Hermes’ Plaza.”
“Should I recite what he said word by word? ‘I am a Demon Lord. This youngster is a peasant. Us two are not permitted to be wedded. However, swearing to the Goddess Aphrodite, I, Dantalian, the rank 71st Demon Lord declare my love for this girl.’”
I creased my brows.
To say those kind of lines in a public space, that didn’t make any sense. There was a limit to how foolish a person could be. Even if Dantalian was a dullard who didn’t know shame, would he really do such a thing?
“It’s true. He even killed Andromalius claiming it was for the succubus.”
“Andromalius? Don’t tell me you’re talking about the rank 72nd Demon Lord.”
The witch made a bitter smile.
The fellow told me everything. About how Andromalius was causing a ruckus. How he had insulted the witches and assaulted Lapis Lazuli. And how Dantalian murdered Andromalius……
As I listened to the story, my mouth opened wider and wider.
The witch, as if she had understood my feelings, nodded.
“The streets of Niflheim are full of clamor. No matter where you go, people are talking about the love story between Demon Lord Dantalian and the peasant Lapis Lazuli. People are just falling at the feet of forbidden love.”
“This doesn’t make sense. Even if Andromalius was the worst Demon Lord, he was still a Demon Lord by name. It’s not possible to just kill him like that!”
“Regrettably, the public of Niflheim are favoring Dantalian.”
The witch spoke flatly.
“Andromalius spent his time passing through the casinos behaving like a vandal, you already know this. If you excluded his standing, then there was nothing good about him. Obviously, his reputation was the worst. The majority of the citizens are saying that they’re delighted and are even toasting over it.”
It wasn’t hard to imagine.
Complaints about Andromalius’ despicable antics would come regularly. Even if he’s a Demon Lord isn’t this too severe, does he not need to be restrained, these kind of talk would go over the city council from time to time. To sum it up, he was a headache for everyone.
There was also a fair amount of people who had died from being irrationally beaten by Andromalius. The family of the deceased were most likely praising Dantalian.
“……The timing is too good.
The witch nodded her chin.
Soon a large meeting for Demon Lords was going to be held. We were planning to attack Dantalian politically there. During the little remaining period of time before the conference, which was now, Dantalian was abruptly able to gain popularity with the people.
“Is this truly a coincidence?”
It was difficult to erase the doubt in my head. We couldn’t be certain that getting rid of Andromalius wasn’t planned. I gave a doubt filled gaze towards the witch.
“I wasn’t able to research that far in. However……”
“However, the chances are high. Is what you’re saying.”
The witch’s face became serious.
“Dantalian, as soon as Andromalius attacked his lover, used the Cocytus Warning as a pretext. As if he was waiting for it. This is an idea that’s difficult to think of on the spot.”
Then this wasn’t a murder by chance.
Everyone knew that Andromalius wandered here and there in Niflheim. The places he went to were also limited. The casino, the red-light district, and the bar. These were it. The chances of coming across Andromalius was fairly high. Planning to murder him was not that hard either……
“Don’t you think it’s funny?”
“For the past several years, no one had tried to stop Andromalius from making a disturbance. Only because he was a Demon Lord. Despite that, Dantalian had killed that troublemaker within 30 minutes of meeting him……”
The witch smiled wryly.
“Andromalius grabbed my hair and pulled it as he pleased. It made me feel like I was some livestock instead of a person. Like a pig you could beat and play around with as you pleased.”
“It was incredibly insulting.”
The witch’s pupil shined peculiarly.
This fellow clearly harbored hostility against the existence known as Demon Lords.
“He only had a higher status. When that incompetent man with no talent whatsoever pulled at my hair, it felt so unpleasant that I wanted to rip his throat out and……”
“Hey. I’m not disagreeing with your opinion at all, but.”
I spoke carefully.
“Speaking in a logical point of view, Demon Lords aren’t completely talentless. For starters, they’ve mastered the language of Babylon. And are they not able to understand and use every demon language since birth? Furthermore, their political symbolism……”
“I have command over 36 languages of different races.”
“…… I am knowledgeable of this. Anyways, Demon Lords have a religious mystique. To the majority, Demon Lords are the agents of Gods and they are also the greatest of priests.”
“So if someone were to order for a Demon Lord to die, then the one to have ordered the task would die instead?”
The witch laughed mockingly.
“Oh please. Mr. Torukel. Do not think while in the perspective of the people.”
The witch’s tone became solemn and a profound smile formed on her lips.
“The public are nothing more than a group of idiotic and unimaginative people.”
“I’m sorry, but I have to object against that. A group is superior to an individual. Even a hero can’t conquer the continent on their own.”
“So are you saying that we should follow the majority logic and use that to determine what’s right and wrong? Torukel. Our aristocrat miser goblin. That is not a very good tactic in our current situation.”
The fellow had snapped their finger.
And immediately after, the sound of a coffin opening up somewhere in the room echoed. With a dreary atmosphere, someone raised their upper body from the black coffin.
It was a girl wearing a servant outfit.
She slowly opened her eyes and looked this way.
The girl smiled coldly and moved her lips.
“Because we are larger in number.”
“……An individual’s opinion can be respected even in a society where majority logic is in common use. It is possible as long as one has even the smallest of refinement and consideration.”
“Oh, do you really think so?”
The servant lightly tapped the back of her hand. Promptly, another black coffin opened up and figure rose.
This time it was a man with the head of a wolf. It was a werewolf. The man growled deeply.
“That is possible when the minority has a decent amount of strength. However, in the demon world which we live in, there are at least over 470 orc tribes while there are only 2 remaining werewolf tribes. If disharmony were to happen between the two races, do you think that the millions of orcs would show consideration to the merely hundreds of werewolves? One could only plead for the orcs to have a decent amount of refinement and consideration.”
The werewolf whistled.
As soon as he did so, all the remaining coffins opened up at the same time.
Each coffin had one person. A total of 33 personage raised their bodies.
Among them, an old gentlemen approached this way.
“The minority requires strength, Torukel. Especially someone like me, who is in a race with only two other vampires remaining, I have to be more cautious of my surroundings.”
“…… Ivar Lodbrok.”
A sigh came from my mouth.
That was his power as a true vampire and a puppeteer.
The ability to move his conscience to his slaves whenever he pleased.
Ivar Lodbrok had 32 slave dolls. Hence, it was possible for him to do 32 different tasks whenever he wanted. It was a closely guarded secret that only I, among the executives, knew of.
The demon world was currently in control by the Demon Lords. No matter how rich you were, there was always the danger of being purged by the true people in power. That was why a person would have to set up safety precautions. That was what Ivar Lodbrok’s 32 slave dolls were.
Even if a Demon Lord were to threaten us, Ivar Lodbrok could move his conscience around his slaves and stay alive till the very end. That was why Ivar Lodbrok hid these dolls in absolute secrecy. A secret that Demon Lords must not know.
……Although, seeing the way he behaved, it felt like half the reason he did it was because it was a hobby.
“Hm. Everything seems to be fine.”
Ivar, with a satisfied air around him, patted the dust off of his body.
“I was worried that a problem might occur because it had been a long time since I had moved my conscience around. I couldn’t be more refreshed.”
“That is a relief. After I was forced to witness an old man act like a young girl, my eye sockets and earholes ended up rotting. I mean, why are you so adept at copying how a little girl talks?”
Ivar Lodbrok raised his shoulders.
“What am I supposed to do when the conscience is affected by the body?”
“I request for you to understand, Torukel. In order to deceive the Berbere Sisters, acting is essential. They still do not know that Beatrice was taken by me.”
“Okay, that’s fine for the witches. But why did you have to behave like a girl and add honorifics while in front of me?”
“Of course, to enjoy watching your facial expression rot whenever I used honorifics.”
“Then it was your hobby!”
Ivar let out a laugh.
After laughing for a period of time, he became serious.
“…… Torukel. Think carefully. Even if they were to kill Andromalius, Demon Lord Dantalian gets no profit.”
“For a short, short period of time he will receive popularity from the citizens. But if you looked at it long-term, then the loss is going to be tremendous. The fact that he had taken an outcast as a lover will remain as a smudge and continue to dirty his reputation. In conclusion, his political life will be shortened. He will be choking his own neck.”
I creased my brows.
“Then why did Dantalian kill Andromalius?”
Ivar shook his head side to side.
“Think bigger, Torukel.”
“In this incident, there is one person who would get an absolute gain. It is not Andromalius. It is not Dantalian either.”
It was a puzzle like statement.
Andromalius and Dantalian had clashed. Both sides did not gain any profit. Who here could…… aah. Was that it, was that what it was!
My voice became louder on its own.
“Thanks to this affair, this was no different from Lapis Lazuli being officially accepted as the lover of a Demon Lord!”
“That is so. That succubus girl is the only one to take any gains.”
“That girl had probably instructed Dantalian beforehand, that if Andromalius was to try and start a quarrel with them, then to use the Coctyus Warning as a pretext then murder him. Since Dantalian had fallen so deeply for that succubus, he would have more than gladly complied. And as they had planned, they encountered Andromalius……”
I couldn’t believe it.
“Then, Lapis Lazuli did all that purely to only increase her own status……?”
“Indeed. She had played with two Demon Lords. Dantalian, of course, and Andromalius had probably unknowingly got swept away in her plot.”
“What a ludicrous woman……”
I could feel my own voice trembling.
In contrast, Ivar muttered as if he was having fun.
“Is it not magnificent? A short time ago, that succubus was nothing more than a merchant. However, she was able to obtain a large loan from our firm by fooling us, she was able to put Dantalian on her side, and now she was able to get rid of Andromalius……”
“I am genuinely touched. This succubus is like the embodiment of lust for power. For such a girl to have been born, this world is truly worth living.”
Ivar looked straight at me.
“Torukel. Our opponent is formidable. That succubus girl is competent enough to overcome her own wall of social status. She is cold-hearted and merciless.”
“But she has yet to past being anything more than a frail schemer. Lapis Lazuli’s position comes from Dantalian. If we purge Dantalian, then she would no longer be the lover of a Demon Lord or anything else. She would only be an arrogant outcast.”
That was an accurate call.
If you wanted to go for an admiral, then shoot the horse first.
Lapis Lazuli was currently on the horse known as Dantalian and was rushing forward with spirit. If you tied down Dantalian’s feet, then naturally her spirit will be cut as well.
“With no mistake. You have to tear them apart…… can you do this?”
“It’s okay to have my vow. Her highness Paimon has also completely agreed with our plan. If a one to ten thousand situation was to occur, then I will take all the responsibility.”
I stared back at Ivar Lodbrok seriously.
Once I did so, Ivar Lodbrok nodded.
Without asking who was going to start first, we recited the vow pledge.
“Oh great Keuncuska—”
“You shall repay blood with blood.”
This was a saying of our firm that boasted 400 years of history. In other words, we were shouldering 400 years of pride on this large meeting. Losing was unpardonable.
Lapis Lazuli. You may be an impressive heroine, but you are still a young sprout. We shall step on you thoroughly.
TL note: Chapter 4 is complete! It was shorter than the other chapters. And oh dear God, I think Chapter 5 is the longest chapter. Not by a lot, but it’s still the longest.
Honestly, translating parts that aren’t a pov of Dantalian or Lala is pretty tiring. I just get less enthusiastic about it. So the Torukel POV part took a bit longer than what I anticipated.
Also, once again, I’d like to mention that our Discord group for Dungeon Defense is very much active. Drop by and chat with everyone here. It’s great being able to get immediate feedback from you guys over there while I’m translating. So like, go join it, or something.
Oh, I might slow a SMALL bit down in translations. My brain feels like it’s going numb from all this non-stop translations and I haven’t been really able to properly enjoy myself.