Chapter 2: A Devil Steps on Stage (Part 2)
▯Weakest Demon Lord, Rank 71st, Dantalian
Empire Calendar: Year 1505, Month 4, Day 4
Dantalian’s Demon Lord Castle
“The treasury is in Minlakdong.”
The other party furrowed their eyebrows.
“Minlakdong. It’s at the Minlakdong.”
I told them the location of the treasury for the second time.
Honestly, I just said the name of whatever neighborhood that came to mind.
How was I supposed to know where the treasury of the Demon Lord’s castle was?
And if I sincerely answered, ‘I don’t know where it is’, I’d probably get a blade flying my way. For now, I had to say whatever I could in order to gain their interest.
I had to carefully pay attention to the men’s reactions.
“Millak, Mooirakkutoung…… the damn pronunciation is strange!”
“Do you not know of it? Here, I’ll write it down.”
Offering to write it down, I lowered my body and wrote on the cavern floor.
I didn’t have any writing utensils, but I did shed a lot of blood. Dipping my finger in my own blood, I smoothly wrote the word.
First line in Korean. Second line in Chinese characters.
I slightly turned my line of sight to see their reaction.
“Hey, bring the torch closer.”
“I have no idea…… were there letters like this?”
They faced each other and started talking.
“None of us here even know how to read.”
“Yeah, but the shape is completely different.”
I generally understood the principle of the language.
I currently heard everything they said in Korean. However, when I wrote the words, they couldn’t understand.
In conclusion, just because I heard everything in Korean didn’t mean they also heard in Korean as well.
There were two possibilities.
One, the pronunciation was the same but the letters were different. Or two, both the pronunciation and letters were different but for some reason only I perceived everything in Korean.
Which one was the answer.
I decided to test it immediately.
“It’s natural for this to be unfamiliar to you gentlemen. This is ancient demon language. In order to fully secure the treasury, I had specifically used ancient demon language to magically seal the treasure.”
“Yes. The vault will not open to those who do not understand the language.”
The men made a commotion.
The answer was revealed by that conversation.
We were currently talking in a language completely different from Korean, in terms of both pronunciation and letters.
How do I know this? Because I had spoken in foreign languages just now.
First sentence in English, second sentence in German, third sentence in Chinese, and fourth sentence in Japanese. And yet, these men understood me fully.
I don’t know by what principle, but the conversation was automatically being translated.
“Mr. Demon Lord. Do we, uh, need to understand that ancient demon language thing to open the vault?”
“Yes. Of course.”
The man narrowed his brows.
— Right now this person was trying to kill me.
He promised to spare my life if I told him the location of the secret vault, but that was a big fat lie. You could tell someone was lying shamelessly by their face.
So accordingly, I had to give them a reason to keep me alive.
“Alright, honorable Demon Lord. I like this fair trade.”
The man fell for my lie nicely.
“I think we can be good friends. So, where’s this Mooirakkutoung, exactly?” (TL note: These guys are pronouncing it incorrectly)
“There’s a secret passage where I was originally at.”
“The Demon Lord’s quarters? There was nothing there when we checked.”
“That’s not so. In my quarters, it will only recognize me and open…… There’s a secret passage that only opens when I place my hand on it.”
“A magical device. Okay.”
The man grabbed my arm and forced me up.
A horrible pain spread from my right ankle. I couldn’t hold back my scream this time.
“Oh. Your leg is messed up.”
The man clicked his tongue.
“New guy! You support his honor, Dantalian.”
“Roger that, captain.”
A young man, who I assumed to be the new guy, came over to support me. He had a dagger attached to his belt. The adventurer group captain then shouted.
“Let’s get moving boys!”
The group of ten adventurers moved forward through the cave.
These men seemed to know where the Demon Lord’s quarter was. I was lucky since I had no idea where it could possibly be.
If they had told me to lead them to my quarters, I’d probably have died on the spot.
A bell rang with a ‘Tirring~’ sound.
[1. Accept adventurer captain Riff’s offer.]
[2. Decline adventurer captain Riff’s offer.]
The first choice shined brightly and then new words rose up. The choice wasn’t selected because I thought of selecting it, but rather, it was selected by my actual actions.
[Overcame the crisis with cunning eloquence.]
[Warning. Actions taken during the tutorial will henceforth affect your stats.]
I got passed the crisis.
In other words, it meant that if I didn’t lie to them then I really would have been in a fatal situation. The unnecessary remark sent a chill down my spine.
These people were not joking around.
To live or to die. That was the question.
I barely got past the first obstacle.
By any means, I had to stay alive.
The adventurer group continued to walk through the cavern.
“How about just killing him now……”
“Yeah. We aren’t some group of thieves. Instead of wasting time searching for a hidden vault, we could end it here neatly……”
“I don’t know about you guys, but I agree with the captain. Nothing bad about getting a bit more money……”
I could hear the adventurers talking up ahead.
I don’t care if you’re going to discuss whether I live or die, but could you at least speak in a voice that I couldn’t hear. It’s not that hard.
They have no manners.
“Hey. Even if his leg is sprained, isn’t he a bit too slow?”
“Like I said. He’s probably stalling.”
They went as far as to flat out make sarcastic remarks.
The level of these adventurers that had captured me weren’t very good.
They radiated poorness. The blade of their weapons were jagged. It was proof that they didn’t properly maintain their gear. In the game’s standard, they’d be ranked F. The lowest adventurer group. They were around that level.
They’d get wiped by around 20 goblins.
…Although, not being able to put under command those goblins that are spread almost everywhere, was Demon Lord Dantalian’s level.
“Your honor, Demon Lord. My comrades are a bit impatient.”
The man called Riff, informed me with a snicker.
I lowered my head.
“I apologize. I’ll try harder to walk faster.”
“A nice and fast response. That’s good.”
He was talking to me like I was inferior.
I had now decided. I will definitely destroy that proud face of his. I’ll drag this man’s face in the mud.
I won’t go easy on him even if he begs for mercy later. Look forward to it, Riff.
“Us adventurers have an occupational disease. It seems they’re suspicious that your honor is trying to trick us. That you’re stalling for time to do something to us.”
I immediately replied.
There was no gain from telling them the truth.
Now, time to start the performance.
“I used to have subordinates as well. Goblins, imps, orcs…… nothing special, but they were still my precious subordinates. However, before you gentlemen, groups of adventurers had assaulted this castle three times in a row.”
The edge of my eye became wet.
I had the ability to cry on command. It required a little trick. It was a special move that my little sisters had taught me.
“You gentlemen are the fourth to arrive at my castle. My subordinates are all already dead. Even the little ones that have been with me for over 30 years. All of them……”
“Surely, your honor, you aren’t crying now, are you?”
“N-No. Cry? I would never.”
I spoke like a child who was desperately trying to hold back his tears.
“It’s just that amongst them, there was a nanny who had taken care of me since I was a mere infant. Yes. She looked like an orc. That’s because she was an orc. But she took care of me sincerely. I even called her ‘mother’. A week ago, she was pierced in the chest with a spear by an adventurer and died……”
Pitiful crying echoed throughout the cave.
“Well. That, what should I say. That’s quite unfortunate. You have my condolences.”
“She held me until the very end. Even after being stabbed, even after shedding so much blood, she continued to hold me tightly to protect me from the falling arrows. Everyone, I can not forget the emotions I went through during that time no matter how hard I try……”
“She had wrapped both of her arms around me. I couldn’t see a thing, but with a thud, her body shook. Thud thud, her body kept shaking. I didn’t know what was happening at first, however, I soon found out that it was because of the arrows. Each time an arrow fell, her body would shudder. Despite that……”
Let a tear fall here once.
My act was about to reach its climax.
“Despite all that, she was looking down at me and smiling! Yes, she smiled till the very end. I wasn’t sane. I thought I was going crazy. The most precious person in the world to me was dying in front of my very eyes…… dying to protect me, she was even smiling…… What was I supposed to say!?”
I covered my face with my hands.
Weak crying leaked from between my fingers.
“I asked if it hurt. If she was in pain, but do you know what she told me in response?”
“‘I’m alright, young master’.”
The air was dead silent.
The adventurers had been captivated by my story at some point and were now quiet.
My father had trained me to be an actor since I was a child.
I went through a test at one point. Go to any cafe and talk on the phone.
In truth, no sound came from the phone, but I pretended to argue with my girlfriend.
‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything.’
‘I’ll do better from now on.’
At first, the reaction from the other cafe customers was annoyance.
They were simply relaxing in a cafe and then suddenly some high school student appeared and started talking loudly on his phone. Regardless, as time past, their expressions slowly shifted. Their emotions changed.
It was sympathy.
They had experience the same thing before. They had pleaded to a loved one at a point in their life. Feeling empathy, they finally started to treat me with pity.
This was the reaction of modern people who had already experienced all kinds of stimulating romance dramas and movies.
The people of this world, who at best have only listened to the self bragging of a wandering poet, I’m sorry to say, but they were no match for me.
The fineness facial muscles
to the most detailed nuance.
Using this at my own will, I preformed passionately.
“It’s okay, she said…… and she died.”
“Now I have nothing left. I did have two goblins, but I made them leave. I don’t need them…… That’s why it’s okay to not be suspicious of me. There’s really nothing left here.”
I covered my face once again and sobbed.
My acting, which could have made a French actor cry, ended here.
In this depressing atmosphere, the adventurers had started to whisper to one another.
“Hey hey. Who made the honorable Demon Lord cry?”
“I didn’t know he had such circumstances either.”
“I was wondering why there were no guards. Other parties had already wiped this place clean.”
“So he suddenly lost everything. Tsk tsk……”
As predicted, sympathy fell upon me.
There was something I didn’t predict that happened too. It was the white notice that rose up in mid-air.
[Your devilish eloquence has captivated the people.]
[Adventurer Riff’s affection went up by 2.]
[Adventurer Dail’s affection went up by 1.]
There was an affection system as well, huh.
That made things easier.
“I am grateful to have met you all, though.”
I smiled faintly.
Giving off an atmosphere as if I had seen the sorrows and joys of life was the point.
“You didn’t kill a Demon Lord like me immediately. You showed consideration to me who was seriously injured, and are even supporting me like this. This is the first time I’ve met adventurers as gentle as you all in the entirety of my life…… I had really thought that all adventurers were villainous people like the ones who had murdered my nanny!”
That was a lie.
A flat out lie.
I knew you men were going to kill me as soon as you saw me. You probably only sheathed your weapons because you wanted the money from the treasury. A villain, as described.
However, no human could dislike being flattered. The adventurers awkwardly scratched their beards.
“No, we didn’t really do that much……”
“It’s because your honor cooperated so willingly.”
[Adventurer Riff’s affection went up by 4.]
[Adventurer Dail’s affection went up by 3.]
The other 8 adventurer’s affection went up as well.
Did their wariness go down? Compared to earlier, the amount of points that went up rose. My acting got through to them properly.
With a tear drenched face, I grinned broadly.
“I apologize for delaying everyone. Now, let us resume towards the vault.”
It wasn’t a smile out of happiness, but a forced smile to match other people. I emphasized that feeling. In order to plant the seed of guilt into them.
One of the adventurers coughed into his hand.
“Ehem. That, uh, there’s no reason for us to deliberately hurry.”
“That’s right. The vault isn’t going to grow legs and run away.”
“Since his honor’s foot hurts so much, let’s go slowly. He did say all the other demons were gone.”
The atmosphere became soft.
There was a saying that says the scariest animal on Earth were humans, but I think opposite. Humans were animals that I could feel most reassured with.
I can not trick a bear. If I encountered a wild warthog, the least a weakling like me could do was get killed.
Humans could be deceived.
Through a performance, you could play with the hearts of others.
‘You’re more of a Devil than I am.’
My father was right.
I did not want to admit it, but I had the inborn talent to deceive people.
Personally, I didn’t think it was a desirable skill. It was more appealing to sincerely gain people’s trust than through lies.
That was why I avoided using deception unless I felt like my life was in danger. Something like being good at lying, it wasn’t a skill worth bragging about.
It was the same now.
If these adventurers had not threaten my life.
If they had approached me with a bit more politeness.
I would not have had to bare my fangs.
“Everyone— if we take too much time, other adventurer parties may arrive.”
“As you all know, there is not even a single goblin left in my castle. As much as it is an empty castle, other adventurers will probably come for the treasure vault as well. This may trouble you all……”
The adventures gave each other unsettled looks.
There were no monsters in this castle. Even if there were some left, these men could use me, the Demon Lord, as a hostage to drive them back. However, there was something more dangerous than monster.
Adventurers competed against other adventurers rigorously. Treasure hidden in the Demon Lord’s castle. The bounty on the Demon Lord’s head…… anyone would want to get their hands on these. Even if they had to kill other humans.
In <Dungeon Attack>, the hero didn’t fight only demons. There were many adventurer parties that attacked in attempt to take the hero’s wealth. They only claimed to be adventurers, but they were no different to a group of thieves.
“Damn it. I didn’t consider that.”
“There’s no certainty that other adventurers will come.”
The men started to frown. They had taken in seriously my lie.
“Dumbass. Did you not hear that this place was assaulted 3 times already? Other wolves, who’ve heard the rumor will come.”
“Not good. This is not good…… We just caught the Demon Lord and you’re now telling me to risk my life to fight other lively adventurers? Don’t joke with me.”
“Shit. Like we’d hand him over to a bunch of dogs.”
These were adventurers, who had just left their hometowns for the first time to get rich quick. They couldn’t contain their excitement when they were presented the opportunity to turn their lives around.
I spoke in a calm voice. Their gaze naturally collected onto me.
“At this moment, other adventurers may already be approaching. How about making our way to the vault first? There’s not a lot of time. We can discuss things while moving.”
The men glanced at each other once more and nodded all together.
“His honor is right. Let’s take the treasure first. Yeah!”
“Let’s get a move on! We don’t have the right to show our faces in Jalsen without a few scratches or two.”
With loud voices, the adventurers resumed their march.
This was enough for now.
I gave them an agreeable suggestion. Their guard against Demon Lord Dantalian may not be completely gone, but at least they don’t see me as an ‘enemy’ now. Their affection continued to rise. That was a good sign……
“New guy, carry his honor on your back. That’ll be faster.”
“Roger that, captain!”
The man lifted me up promptly.
“Ah, thank you very much.”
“What do you eat normally to be so light? You look fine on the outside but it’s like your insides are empty.”
As if I weighed nothing, the man walked with light steps. I suddenly ended up getting a piggy back ride, but this was much better than forcing myself to walk.
I guess you could say that I got passed the second obstacle.
I was required to open the treasure vault, hence giving them a reason to keep me alive. Furthermore, I was able to raise their affection towards me, giving them the false impression that I was on their side. It was favorable. However, there were still two problems remaining.
The first problem was that I had no idea if a treasury existed at all. As soon as they find out that I lied, regardless of affection points or whatever, they’ll murder me.
The other problem was getting rid of the adventurers. If I couldn’t solve these two problems then my fate will always lead to death.
I moved my lips slightly and whispered.
Without being discouraged, I kept experimenting.
‘Dungeon status, dungeon situation…… Mm. Not this either, huh.’
I currently had the ability to access the game system.
It was merely an assumption, but I should be able to use the other status windows than just affection points. For example, being able to see the map of the castle. I was aiming for that.
My prediction was soon confirmed.
‘Demon Lord Castle Status.’
With a ‘tirring~’, a sound rang in my head.
White words appeared before me.
Dantalian’s Demon Lord Castle
Special Effect: None
Military Force: None
Wealth: 100 Libra
※The castle is in ruins. Neighborhood kids refer to this place as a fun playground. This place is in danger of being conquered at any moment. Urgently open the ‘Employment Tab’ and hire forces.
Is that so. At the very most, this was it.
I was hoping that perhaps even a little amount of forces remained, but there really was nothing left. This really was nothing more than a kiddy playground.
I was grateful that I had any wealth at all.
‘Libra’ was the name of the common currency in <Dungeon Attack>. There was a time I was bored and decided to compare currencies. In Korean money, 1 libra was 500,000 won(TL note: 433USD).
Right now I had 100 libra.
In other words, I was given about 50,000,000won(TL note: 43,335 USD).
How far could I get with this.
After searching through all kinds of functions in the game, I finally found what I wanted.
A half transparent list appeared before me.
And damn expensive.
No matter how you looked at it, 200,000 won for a slime was overcharging. In this day and age, you could buy two fair cows with 200,000 won. Not calves, but cows. How could a useless slime be twice the price of a cow used for farm work?
Most likely, the price went up because of the game difficulty.
‘Tsk. This messes up my plan……’
At first, I was thinking of pouring my wealth into hiring a unit of monsters. Even if I spent all my money and hired 8 goblin deserters, the chances of them winning against the adventurers was uncertain.
No, these men might be more pathetic than I think. Was it worth testing out?
I muttered in my mind while staring at an adventurer.
[You do not have sufficient affection with this person.]
[Only the simplest stats will be viewable.]
With the same ‘tirring~’ sound from before, a window appeared above the adventurer’s head.
I assumably needed more affection points to see more precise information.
Name: Riff Hoffman
I unintentionally let out a groan.
A little bit stronger than a goblin.
He was certainly weak, but that small difference was a big matter to me. The other adventurers had about the same stats. Even if I hired 8 goblins, they were far off from being able to overwhelm these adventurers.
What to do.
There was no certainty in winning or losing. Should I leave it to fate and take a gamble? To risk my life on a gamble. That wasn’t my style. I preferred to raise my chances in winning before going into a fight.
As I was in deep thought.
“We’re almost there!”
An adventurer shouted.
We were almost at the Demon Lord’s room.
“Hah. Why is this cave so big?”
“This is your first time coming to a Demon Lord’s Castle. This is nothing. Normally these castles are full of traps, so you have to tread incredibly slowly.”
The adventurers were chatting rowdily.
There wasn’t much time left. I had to make a decision soon.
Should I make it up by numbers and hire a lot of slimes or fairies? Or, should I hire the strongest golem and attack them by surprise? No. Both sides were far away from being ‘certain victory’. If I allow myself to get in danger……
……Okay. This was the best option.
“Alright! Let’s go in.”
The adventurers poured into the room.
I bit my lips forcefully. Skin tore and blood flowed into my mouth.
If I had to rate my chances, then 70%. It was pathetically low for something that had my life on the line. Regardless, this was the utmost best.
I thought I was free once my father had died. I ran away hoping that I could live a peaceful life.
I got this far and you’re telling me that my life was in danger again? To fall into a strange world and to tell me to die without a single clue on what’s going on just because I had become a Demon Lord? Don’t make me laugh!
Who cares if I’m a Demon Lord or something. If there was a fellow that was trying to end my idle life, then I’ll face them with no mercy. I will live no matter what……
The Demon Lord’s room was a miserable wreck.
“Is there really treasure here?”
This place had most likely been plundered many times already. Be it the bed or the chairs, the wooden furniture were toppled over. It was hard to believe that there was a treasure vault in this mess.
The captain, Riff, spoke.
“Your honor. Hurry up and open up that Mooirakkutoung or whatever.”
“Yes. Do not worry. I know that…… ack!”
I fell over while getting off the new guy’s back. I had twisted my ankle on purpose.
The adventurers reacted in panic.
“Ouch, are you okay?”
“Hey! Support him properly!”
“I-I’m okay. I’m alright.”
I stood up by myself with trembling legs. The core point of acting was to obtain sympathy. If I borrowed another person’s shoulder here, there’s the danger that they might see me as an annoying wounded person.
I went to a wall while limping.
“Everyone, it is here.”
“Ah? All I see is a wall.”
“There’s a carving here only visible to Demon Lords. If you place your hand on the carving and recite a specific spell, then the vault will open.”
I lied without missing a beat.
The adventurers had intrigued expressions on their faces.
“Oh. Magic, huh.”
Beginner adventurers were ignorant in regards to magic, like these adventurers who originally used to be simple farmers or lumberjacks until now. The majority of these men most likely haven’t seen proper magic in their entire life. If I told them it was magic, then they’d simply nod and say “Is that so.”.
I made a request while displaying a pained face.
“Everyone. I’m sorry, but please move 10 steps away from me.”
“Only a Demon Lord can release the magic on the vault. It will never unlock if even one outsider is nearby. If a mistake were to happen, a defense mechanism could occur and you may be hurt.”
“A defense mechanism, you say……”
“Worst case scenario, the treasure could be sealed forever.”
The adventurer’s face immediately turned grave.
As if I had just threatened to take their treasure away from these humans turned money grubbers, the effect was instant. Following my instructions, all 10 men stood in a line and backed off.
One step. Another step.
The adventurers spoke after taking exactly 10 steps.
“How is that. 10 steps, just like you asked.”
These adventurers were sincere in useless places.
I was in awe, but expression wise, I continued to smile firmly.
“That’s exactly 10 steps. No more and no less. There is a good chance that you all will not be affected by the magic at that range. Well done.”
The adventurers grinned broadly.
“This is nothing.”
“I’m a bit of a perfectionist.”
I think they wholeheartedly believed that.
I’m struck with wonder whenever I meet humans as self-confident as these guys. Humans, with this kind of brain, were able to be separated from Homo sapiens sapiens.
Wouldn’t this be considered a kind of miracle?
I turned my back towards them and faced the wall.
“I shall now begin casting the spell. Everyone, please be silent!”
Obviously, there was no carving on the wall. The fact that the treasury was here was a blatant lie, like I’ve been saying.
But there was something I did believe in.
‘Demon Lord Castle’s Wealth.’
White words appeared on the smooth wall.
Demon Lord Castle’s Wealth
Withdrawal Amount: xxx Libra
Total Balance: 100 Libra
※Warning. If you withdraw too much at once, you may go bankrupt.
This was one of the game functions I found earlier.
Thanks to the Demon Lord’s right, I could withdraw funds wherever and whenever I wanted. It’d all be over if I took out a bunch of coins here.
However, it’d be troubling to simply hand over the money.
A small performance.
Add some spice and gift-wrapping.
Taking in a deep breath— as seriously as I could, I shouted.
…… I honestly did shout this seriously.
It was back when I wrote Minlakdong on the ground. The conversations were certainly being translated, but the adventurers could not exactly pronounce the word ‘Minlakdong’. Hence, all the conversations weren’t being translated cleanly.
“Gwanjajaebosal Hengshimbanyabaramildashi Jogyeonohoengaegoeng Doilchaegoaek, Sarija, Saekbeuligoen Goengbeulisaek Saekjeukshigeong Geongjeukshisaek Soosanghaengshik Yeokbooyeoshi……” (TL note: If you’re genuinely curious as to what he’s chanting, it’s the famous ‘Heart Sutra‘ in Manayana Buddhism. Don’t expect me to translate it because even professional translators are struggling to do so.)
For example, words that couldn’t be translated into this world’s language; chemical formulas like H2O or professional terms like ‘Deformation‘, could not be translated. Furthermore, words that I perceived as proper nouns weren’t translated either. This was the reason why the adventurers had no idea what Minlakdong meant. Things like Mahabanyabaramildashimgyeon were the same.
Despite the fact that Minlak had the meaning of ‘citizen happiness’, it was not converted. Even banyabalamildashimgyeon could be interpreted, but it wasn’t to these men.
The reason behind this was because I wasn’t saying these words with the meaning in mind.
“T-That’s the demon language?”
“I have no idea what he’s saying but it sounds menacing.”
“I feel like something is making my heart tremble……”
To the adventurers, it would really seem like I was shouting an unknown incantation.
“Beobgoensang Beulsaenbeulmyeol Beulgeuboojeong Boojeunbeulgam Shigo Geongjeongmoosaek……”
While I used my mouth to keep chanting, I used my eyes to earnestly stare at the window.
I had to slowly time when to take the money out.
Demon Lord Castle’s Wealth
Withdrawal Amount: 79 Libra
Total Balance: 21 Libra
※Warning. If you withdraw too much at once, you may go bankrupt.
I decided to take out about 8/10 of all I had.
It’d probably be suspicious if I withdrew a solid amount of 80, so I purposely set it to 79.
“Ajaeajae Baraajae Baraseunajae Moji Sabaha—!”
I lifted my arms up and yelled gloriously.
As I said the last line of the incantation, I thought the word ‘withdraw’ in my mind.
Then, silver coins formed in mid-air and fell.
“S-Silver! It’s silver!”
“How much is all that!?”
“It really was magic!”
5 silver coins equalled 1 gold coin. In total, 395 silver coins rained down. The average farmer in <Dungeon Attack> made around 15 silver a year.
Meaning, this was a jackpot for the adventurers.
Silver coins were forming a heaping pile on the floor.
80% of my entire fortune was pulled out in an instant.
Their bodies were probably burning up from seeing so much money rain in front of them.
“Hey. You guys haven’t forgotten that we’re splitting this up equally for each of us, right?”
“Of course. Whoever tries to change their word now, I’ll kill you!”
The adventurers stared at the silver with bloodshot eyes.
The smell of greed flowed from their mouths.
Demon Lord Castle’s Wealth
Withdrawal Amount: xx Libra
Total Balance: 21 Libra
※Warning. If you withdraw too much at once, you may go bankrupt.
The final coin dropped.
Like a bunch of wolves, the adventurers tried to rush forward.
What impatient men.
Aiming for when they took their first step— I raised my hand quickly.
“Do not approach yet! You’ll be cursed!”
Hearing the disturbing word, they came to a halt.
I fell to my knees
and as if I was under some intense pain, I started to groan.
I contorted my face as much as I could.
Foam overflowed from my mouth.
The adventurers were startled by the sudden situation.
“W-What’s going on!? What’s going on, your honor!?”
“It’s black magic! He’s been cursed by black magic!”
The men stumbled back in fear.
In order to make my performance seem more real, I collided my already broken ankle on the ground. Pain vibrated through me. An agonizing scream ruptured from my lungs.
I cried out while grabbing my eye sockets. While doing so, I took a glimpse at the adventurers from between my fingers. Their faces were pale. There were even some men trying to make a run for it. My greatest performance was working.
“Oh God. That’s terrible……”
“Just what’s happening? Are you okay!?”
One of the braver adventureres tried to approach me, but I hurried prevented him from doing so.
“S-Stay back! This is the consequence for using black magic…… If you get close, aaagh, you could be affected as well…… kuh, gaah!”
The man stopped promptly.
The adventurers had watched silver coins appear out of thin air. To them this was magic. They could do nothing but believe that whatever I told them was magic was true.
The adventurers started to mutter to each other.
“By any chance. Did he tell us to take 10 steps back…… for our sake?”
“It was his chance to get rid of us……”
This was the response I wanted.
If my plan was going to work, I had to raise their affection rate towards me as high as possible. And what would leave the strongest impression on someone?
When someone sacrifices oneself to save them.
Like right now.
I writhed in pain more intensely.
“W-Wait. He’ll die at this rate! Are you sure we shouldn’t stop him!?”
“You idiot, did you not hear him say it was black magic? Have you not heard the stories of people dying by some weird curse!?”
“Dail is right. The only thing we can do is…… regrettably, wait here patiently.”
Some of the adventurers cursed angrily.
At this point, notice windows popped up continuously.
[Your devilish performance has captivated the people.]
[Adventurer Riff’s affection went up by 15.]
[Adventurer Dail’s affection went up by 13.]
[Adventurer Zed’s affection went up by 19.]
As intended, a sharp increase in affection.
With my nails, I ripped some skin off of my face. Red blood spurted out. It was incredibly painful, however this was light compared to the weight of my life. My screams continued on for a while.
I let out a ragged breath.
“It’s, okay now…… You can collect the coins now…… it’s fine.”
They’re attitude had completely changed.
The wolves that desperately wanted to swallow up the coins earlier were nowhere to be seen now. The adventurers were all afraid that the coins might still be cursed.
“You go first and check.”
“No no. You know the saying ‘respect your elders’, the oldest should go.”
The men presented the chance to go first to one another, but never taking it themselves.
Having enough, the party leader stood forward.
“Screw it! You’re all cowards! I don’t know why you have anything down there. I should probably chop it off with my axe. You were all confident in conquering a Demon Lord’s Castle, but look at you all now!”
The leader of this party, Riff, roared.
“And Dail, you one-eyed person. You’ve been with me for 2 years now. What are you doing hiding with those greenhorns!”
“Well, this is my first time witnessing black magic.”
“Oh, look at you still making excuses. What’s a fellow, who’s a senior, doing cowering like a newbie!”
“Then you go first.”
“Yeah. The captain should go first.”
The other men nodded in agreement.
Riff twitched his nose.
“I was going to even if you didn’t tell me, you cowards.”
Riff walked proudly towards the pile of silver.
The adventurers whispered to one another while watching their captain march.
“He’s being prideful again.”
“He’s got his nose bent plenty of times while acting proud, too.”
“What’d you say!?”
Riff glared at them. His bear-like face looked like some vandal when he scowled. The men avoided his glare and whistled.
Riff turned back to the silver pile.
“Hoo… hoo…… Here I go!”
He reached out and grabbed a coin.
It was obvious, but absolutely nothing happened. There was no black magic in the first place.
Not knowing this fact, Riff exaggeratedly laughed mockingly at the others.
“Look at that! Didn’t his honor, Demon Lord, already say that there was no curse now? Idiots, I should just cut your dicks off now! Kekeke!”
The adventurers glanced at each other awkwardly.
Watching the chain of events from a distance, I couldn’t help but mockingly smirk.
I wonder if it was because I had acquired enough affection, but I could see more detailed information on Riff’s status window. There, I could see the mental state of Riff that he wasn’t voicing.
Name: Riff Hoffman
Job: Lumberjack(B) Adventurer(F)
Reputation: Dust in the galaxy
Leadership: E \ Might: E \ Intelligence: F
Politics: F \ Charm: F \ Technique: E
Current Mental State: ‘Ah, shit. I thought my liver was going to fall out. My legs are still shaking……!’
It was a bluff.
Well done scolding your subordinates when you were also trembling in fear. The other adventurers, not having realized this, were scratching the back of their heads.
“T-Then let’s go as well.”
“Mm. The captain did prove it to us.”
“Lesser people like us should follow his lead.”
The men approached the pile carefully.
“Hah. You sorry batch of men.”
Riff was sneering but he didn’t try to stop the other adventurers from approaching in particular.
Following after, the other adventurers started feeling up the coins greedily. In case someone tried to take more coins than they should, the adventurers watched each other intently.
“If there’s a single coin in your backpocket, I’ll beat you up personally.”
“Split everything equally. Don’t try to be a thief!”
Quite a lot of time had passed before they had finally counted all the coins.
Riff snorted with satisfaction.
“Hu. In total there’s 386 silver coins.”
I narrowed my brows a bit. I’m certain I had taken out 395 silver coins.
Where’d the remaining 9 go to.
A couple of the men were fidgeting nervously.
……So they couldn’t hold back and managed to steal some. Despite the fact that they kept threatening each other, there were some people who were able to successfully steal in the end. How marvelous.
“Alright. Let’s fairly split up 38 pieces each.”
“Then there’ll be 6 remaining. What about the change?”
“What about it? I, the captain. will take it.”
Riff shamelessly declared.
The other adventurers booed and sent jeers.
“Captain was the one that said to divide equally no matter what, in the first place!”
“That’s dirty. Dirty!”
“Shut up you swines! If it wasn’t for me, you cowards wouldn’t have approached the money at all.”
“That’s that and this is this!”
“What’s that and what’s this! Speak clearly!”
Beginner adventurer party had met internal conflict so soon.
It was like an argument between kids.
After a lively debate, it was decided that Riff would take the change.
“Tsk tsk. A bunch of narrow-minded bigots.”
Riff grumbled. It seemed that he got offended that the others were so against conceding the leftover 6 pieces of silver to him, the captain. I couldn’t tell who the narrow-minded person was.
Anyways, it was starting to become time.
I opened my mouth.
“I’m sorry to disturb you all while you’re busy, but I have something to tell you all.”
“Hm? Oh, what is it?”
Their response was half-hearted. The adventurers were occupied shoving their portion of the coins into their bags or shoes. Some of them were even loosening their belts to shove the silver into their underwear. It was quite dirty.
“I apologize, but the event we had feared has occurred. Just now, other adventurer parties has invaded the castle.”
Their hands froze immediately.
“I am a Demon Lord. There’s a magic system set up that notifies me whenever someone invades my castle. A moment ago, I heard a bell ring in my head.”
The adventurer’s eyes opened wide in panic.
“D-Demon Lord, is that true?”
“Yes. Unfortunately, this is the truth.”
“Isn’t there the chance that you heard wrong?”
“……Of course, there is the possibility. I too am hoping that I heard wrong. However, I’ve heard the same bell ring 4 times this month. To be mishearing things now is very unlikely.”
I confessed to them with a sad expression.
The men were visibly shaken. While I acted, there were times that I felt like I could see other people’s emotions in the shape of a thick cloud. I was touching that cloud here and there and forming it to my will.
“T-The numbers. Do you know how many people?”
“Not exactly. I could take a guess by counting the rings……”
I bit my lips, giving off the feeling that the number was hard to reveal. Seeing this, the adventurers grew more anxious.
“I don’t care if it’s an estimate! Just tell us how many there are!”
“……The bell rang 3 times in a row.”
“What does that mean?”
“The bell rings once every 10 people who invade my castle. In other words, at the very least, 30 people has invaded.”
An amount of people too large for the people in front of me to handle.
The adventurers became pale.
TL note: There was a lot of complications for me in this chapter. I couldn’t really figure out in what format I was going to organize the information displayed on those system windows. The hiring window was especially a problem since I can’t really set up a table in wordpress unless I download it(and that process is annoying to do). I’ll figure out a decent format as I write.
And heck, don’t get me started on that Bhuddism sutra. The author must dislike translators or something cause that part is going to be really hard to deal with.
Anyways, part 3 will be the climax of the chapter. Look forward to it! Dantalian’s last performance with these adventurers!