Dungeon Defense: Volume 1 – Chapter 2 (Part 3)

Chapter 2: A Devil Steps on Stage (Part 3)

▯Adventurer, Cowardly Looter, Riff Hoffman
Empire Calender: Year 1505, Month 4, Day 4
Dantalian’s Demon Lord Castle

I didn’t like the situation at all.

According to what the Demon Lord had said, there was another group of invading adventurers in the cave. The number was at the very least, 30. This was no joke…… damn it.

I had picked weaklings on purpose to bring here. People with skill demanded more money. In the case of my adventurer group, the treasure in the vault was to be split fairly, but the bounty on the Demon Lord Dantalian was all mine for the taking. If I wanted to establish this kind of agreement, I could only gather these run of the mill adventurers.

Shit. I should have just spent more money and hired skilled people. No, even if I did, 30 people was too much. They wouldn’t be able to handle this amount. My insides were strangely bitter……

“We could win if we hold out in this room!”

“Are you insane. It’s 30 people, thirty! We’ll be overwhelmed!”

“If you’re going to fight, then leave me out. I never had the hobby of killing myself. I’ll get out on my own.”

“Hah! This filthy coward! Finally showing your true colors!”

The men were split into two groups and arguing.

People who wanted to stay here and fight, and people who wanted to escape. They had been arguing for over 10 minutes now, but they were yet to come together like they did before.

Honestly, I didn’t have a good idea either. Obviously we should run, but there was no certainty that we wouldn’t meet the other adventurer party on the way out. That was the problem. Crap, what do I have to do to get out safely……

……wait.

Think about it the other way around.

If we had to face them then face them. It’s fine as long as I get away safely. It’s not my problem if the others live or die.

I took out a map and checked. There were 3 routes from here to the cave entrance.

I approached the Demon Lord and asked him.

“Hey, your honor. How many paths are there that leads from the castle entrance to here?”

“There are 3.”

As expected, the map was accurate. Even the Demon Lord confirmed it.

“Do you know which route they’re coming from?”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t tell that far……”

The Demon Lord spoke with an ashamed expression.

“No, it’s fine. I’m grateful you even told me about the invaders.”

I lightly patted the Demon Lord’s shoulder. Once doing so, he lowered his head graciously.

I said this before, but this guy really has no guts. Even though he’s a Demon Lord, he’s been speaking respectfully to a human like me. Does he have no pride? To say it nicely, he knows his place. What more would he get then get hit if he showed defiance. Kekeke.

At that moment, the Demon Lord looked straight at my eyes. He appeared weirdly serious so I couldn’t help but become stiff in response.

“Sir Riff. I’m fated to be captured by adventurers no matter what.”

“Hm? So?”

“Then, I at least wish to choose a safer path. You all did not kill me the moment you saw me. Just that alone makes me wish to be on your side. Please live, and make a wise decision.”

Aha.

He was begging for me to save his life.

I started to feel familiarity with the little one in front of me. Pride wasn’t needed if it meant survival. I thought so as well.

“Hehe. You sure know your stuff, your honor. Okay, don’t worry. If you believe in me then you will definitely get to the city safely.”

“Thank you. Thank you very much……”

It was cute because he looked like a pet, lowering his head over and over again like that.

I tapped the Demon Lord’s cheek while chuckling. It was a sign of affection. It’s okay to be happy.

I shouted at the men that were still arguing.

“Attention!”

They shut their mouths. I guess they realized that there was no point in fighting each other. They glared this way with bloodshot eyes.

“We’re retreating.”

“But captain!”

“Listen up you greenhorns. Are you not able to see properly because of the coins in your pockets? Who do you think you are? You guys only faced 2 goblins on our way here. How do you plan to face 30 adventurers with just that ability?”

I gave them a menacing look.

I’ve grown up being told that I had a vulgar looking face. There was no one here that was brave enough to face me properly.

“Stop dreaming. You’ll die without being able to do anything.”

“……but captain. There’s no guarantee that things will go well if we escape.”

The person to speak was the one who was silent and didn’t get involved in the argument.

This bald one-eyed man was a reasonably skilled senior.

“What are you going to do if we unluckily meet the enemy? We could at least hold out here and fend them off, but there’s no answer if we meet them out there.”

“I know, you bastard. That’s why we’ll split up and go down three separate paths.”

“Three separate paths?”

“There’s three routes from here to the castle entrance. Pick your path and run that way.”

A moment of silence passed.

The men creased their brows.

“……captain. Surely you don’t mean.”

“Yeah. One of the three groups will meet the enemy no matter what. However, oppositely, the other two groups will live.”

“That’s just an escape-goat!”

The one-eyed man retorted loudly. He must have been seriously enraged because the veins on his neck were visible. Tsk, he’s a good guy but the places he got serious at made it tiring.

The other guys complained as well, saying things like “That’s not right!” and “We’d rather all die together!”.

A bunch of peerless fools they were. You all don’t know what death means. That’s why you’re easily able to say that you’re willing to die together.

……but there was no benefit in speaking truthfully here. Let’s talk while mixing lies here and there. What? I’m only honest to myself. I never said that I was honest with other people as well, did I?

“Shut up you punks! My job is to send as many people as I can back home!”

They twitched. Would you look at that. They got scared just because I shouted a bit. There’s a limit to expectations if they thought they could fight 30 people with this attitude.

“You guys all have a family, right? Man’s pride? That’s good. Companionship? That’s also nice. But what’s the point of worrying about all that if we end up dead, huh? Who’s going to take responsiblity of your families?”

“……”

“What about your kids? What about the fellow village people working in the fields in our stead? What about your wives?”

A complicated silence fell upon them.

As expected, there’s nothing as persuasive as family. Even though I was illiterate, I at least knew how to deal with people.

“The one’s who are alive will take responsibility for the families of the one’s that have fallen.”

I made my words a notch softer and concluded.

“We have no more corners to back up to, you punks. Think about your families and the village. Everything else is useless. Forget it all and only think of your families……”

They lowered their heads.

Of course. If you thought with reason then my suggestion was the best. It was just the fact that they had to sacrifice someone else’s life that was hard to accept. They had to cut off that part of their minds.

The adventurers separated into 3 units.

4, 3, 3 people each.

“Let’s get going now.”

I ordered sternly.

Which route met with the enemy, that all relied on luck. Well, if you asked if it really was entirely based on luck then that wasn’t right.

I purposely placed the Demon Lord in another group. If the enemy had a magical energy detecting device then it would react to the Demon Lord. The target will naturally go to him. In other words, he worked as bait. I was good at using my head in this kind of places.

Alright. Time to genuinely run away.

Please die, my close comrades.

So that way, I can live.

▯Weakest Demon Lord, Rank 71st, Dantalian
Empire Calendar: Year 1505, Month 4, Day 4
Dantalian’s Demon Lord Castle

The adventurers patted each other’s shoulders lightly. They then departed down their own path out of the three.

“Go and die, you dogs.”

“You’ll be the one dying. I’ll make sure to enjoy your wife in your stead.”

The adventurers swearing at each other was simply a coping method. They knew that if their farewells were heavy then their feet would be heavy as well.

The leader of the unit I was with spoke.

“We should get going as well.”

“Yeah.”

I was on the back of the new guy again.

The unit I was with specially had 4 members. It was because they had extra luggage to carry, which was me. The person that was temporarily acting as leader was the one-eyed bald man. The person who refuted against Riff earlier.

“……”

“……”

Gloomy footsteps echoed throughout the cavern.

Not a single person said a word. The shadow of people reflected on the cavern wall by the torches. The shadows wavered like a mirage.

When Riff suggested to divide the group into three, I honestly wanted to run around in joy. That was the idea I was originally going to propose. I was afraid of a group of 10 adventurers together, but I didn’t fear a group split up into 3’s and 4’s.

They were foolish.

Riff suggested to split up in order to raise his chances of survival as much as possible, however, he was mistaken from the premise. He completely believed the words of a Demon Lord. Normally, adventurers and Demon Lords were supposed to be hostile to one another, but they had easily trusted my information.

Were they being careless, or did I really appear to be that pitiful. If it was the latter, then that was a relief. It was proof that my acting skills weren’t rusty yet. The price to pay for being careless shall be huge, Riff.

I stared at the empty space in front of me.

A half transparent map was being projected. Red dots had split down three separate paths and were drifting away from each other.

Amongst the functions in the system, there was the ability to see a map. Conveniently, the adventurers were displayed as red dots and even showed their current positions.

There was a thick cavern wall between each routes. There were pathways that connected the routes at a couple of places, but only I, who had the system map, knew this. The adventurers had no means of communication whatsoever.

Even if a massacre was to occur.

‘Employment Tab.’

I spoke in my mind.

A ridiculously cheerful ‘tirring~’ sound effect rang.

Griid

For a slight moment.

It was probably for only an instant, but there was hesitation in my eyes.

The adventurers had split themselves up into 3 groups. They trusted the Demon Lord Dantalian when they should have been hostile against him. They had not only lowered their fighting prowess, but they were mentally unprepared as well.

The optimum requirement for a surprise attack.

But the reason why I was hesitating for a moment…… who knows.

If I hired monsters and attacked the adventurers here, then I’d be crossing the Rubicon River(TL note: point of no return). For the adventurers to die or for myself to die. Only one of the two future existed. There was no going back.

“……”

The inside of my mouth felt dry.

It was impossible to return once I’ve made my decision.

I was realizing the weight of my choice.

Then, the second choice box since coming to this world had appeared.

[1. Annihilate the adventurers like this.]

[2. Be taken by the adventurers like this.]

…… just as I thought. I figured out in what situations these choices appeared.

When my life was on the line, or when other people’s lives were on the line. These boxes popped up in those immensely vital points, as if telling me to really think about my decision carefully.

Regardless, my obvious choice was option number 1.

A hopeful future for a Demon Lord captured by humans did not exist. Even if the adventurers decided not to kill me, it was useless. The adventurers will sell me over to the city in order to gain the bounty, and then my head will be displayed on the town square to show off to the people about how well the cutting off of my head was done.

So thus, I selected number 1.

I’ll kill every last human before me.

‘Hire Weak Golem.’

[You’ve hired a Weak Golem.]

[Would you like to summon Weak Golem?]

My entire fortune of 21 Libra shrunk down to a single Libra in an instant.

At the same moment, the cave floor was covered in light.

“H-Huuh?”

“What’s going on!?”

The adventurers panicked.

The light caused by the summoning circle lit up the dark cavern entirely for a brief second. The moment everyone’s gaze was focused on the circle, I bared my teeth.

CRUUUNCH! (TL note: If you know a better word to portray biting down onto something, be my guest)

It sounded like a plastic bag was being ripped. However, it was something much more raw than a plastic bag. With my teeth, I had bit down strongly onto the ear of the newbie adventurer who was carrying me.

“Kuaaaaaah!”

The adventurer cried out and flailed his body. I, who was on his back, fell to the floor. I was already preparing a safe way to fall, so the impact wasn’t too big.

“J-Jack!? What happened! What’s wrong!?”

“Guh, ah, ear! My ear!”

The vision that was focused on the summoning circle moved to here.

With a genuinely fearful expression, I pointed towards the other side.

“Everyone! Behind you! Look behind you!”

In the spot I was pointing at was an arm made of stone reaching out from the earth.

The stone arm grasped the ground and, like a demon coming out of Hell itself, a bulky body emerged. A disturbing ‘grrrrdduh, grduh’ sound resonated. It was the sound of boulders grinding against each other. The adventurers stared at the summoning magic with their mouths agape.

“M-My God……”

“Raise your shields! Take out your swords!”

The adventurers were moving about in confusion. Nevertheless, the bald one-eyed man, proving that he wasn’t just the sub-captain by name, gave orders to his comrades. However, your enemy wasn’t only the golem that had suddenly appeared.

“Mmmm……!?”

I jumped back onto the back of the new guy and covered his mouth. The man opened his eyes widely.

His eyes looked like they were shouting, ‘What are you doing!?’.

He had a dagger on his hip that I had been eyeing since the beginning. I pulled his dagger out and brought it down on his throat. Once, twice, thrice, and finally for the fourth time. I didn’t even give him the opportunity to resist.

“Eub, pbb…… huppbb……”

The newbie screamed, but the sound was muffled by my hand making it only sound like a moan.

Soon the groans became bright red blood and drenched my hand stickily.

“Uuh……eub……”

I silently stared down at the new guy’s eyes.

Finally, his body went limp.

This took 8 seconds.

The other adventurers had no idea that the newbie was murdered behind them.

Thus, I had committed my first murder, but I didn’t have time to get sentimental. The situation was still dire. I immediately hid the dagger in my clothes and turned my head.

“∎∎∎∎∎∎—!”

Right on time, the golem had climbed out fully.

As if celebrating the fact that it had escaped from the stifling underground world, the golem raised its head and let out a long roar. The ceiling of the cave shook, making the stalactites tremble as well. Even if it was called ‘weak golem’, at this moment, the one dominating this space was that monster.

This was a monster.

This was a demon.

It looked so much different from humans and that atrocious outer appearance was enough to plant fear into the hearts of humans.

“Hiiiik……!”

The adventurers shrunk back. One man’s arms were trembling so much that he had dropped his torch. Since the light from the summoning circle was gone, the cavern had returned back to being dark— that raised the adventurer’s fears to no limit. The light from the torch gave the cave a reddish glow, giving only slight glimpses of that massive body in the distant darkness.

People who used to do farm work for a living in their hometown.

These people may have been realizing for the first time.

That adventurer was a discreditable occupation that normally faced against mythical terrors like this.

“E-Euuuuh……”

The three adventurers gathered together. This was an instinct implanted into humans, to unite together with their comrades when facing a large beast. However, in this situation that instinct had made them commit a grave mistake.

“∎∎, ∎∎∎∎∎∎∎—!”

As big as the golem was, its footsteps were slow.

If the adventurers had spread out instead of grouping together, then they may have been able to deal with the golem. But these men lacked experience. Experience of fighting various types of demons.

Like a tank, the golem advanced towards the men. Its feet came down with a thud and shook the ground. The tremors violently jolted the darkness.

The adventurers could do nothing but hold up their wooden shields. Their entire body had become rigid. They should probably be complimented for not having run away on the spot.

“T-This person is dead!”

I intensely shook the already disordered adventurers by another level. I was holding up the new guy’s chest and shouting.

“He suddenly fell! It’s black magic! Someone unbeknownst to me is assaulting everyone! Quickly, please get away!”

“What……”

A moment of unrest.

However, faltering for even a second while a golem was right in front of you, that was more than enough time to bring about a tragic end.

The adventurers’ attention was dispersed. Aiming for that chance, the golem swung its fist. The target was the bald one-eyed man. As the person responsible for this unit, when he had heard that the new guy had died, he had turned this way for a brief second. The golem’s heavy stone fist smashed into his body just like that.

There wasn’t even a shout.

His skull was crushed and he was met with instant death.

The wooden shield which the village blacksmith had made was of no use.

“………… uh, aah?”

One step late, the survivors reacted.

Honestly, to say that it was a proper reaction was miserable.

One adventurer, as if giving up on all hope, fell to his knees. The other adventurer decided oppositely and was about to escape. Tossing away his torch and sword, he got rid of anything that was weighing him down and ran.

It’d be troubling if I missed one person here.

“This way! Run this way!”

“Uh, ah! Aah!”

Giving me an obscure response, the adventurer ran towards me. It was like the behavior unconsciously taken by people during a fire. When told to escape this way, they ran towards that direction recklessly.

I pulled the man close and whispered.

“Calm your breathing. Golems lack good eye-sight and hearing. If you quietly hide in the corner of the cave, then you’ll be safe. You can believe me. I’m an expert on demon characteristics.”

O-Okay. I understand.”

“Now, follow after me and breathe slowly. One. Two. Hoo.”

“Hoo…… hooo.”

“Good. That’s it. Inhale and exhale slowly.”

The adventurer settled his breathing. I grabbed his hand tightly. It was a well-known fact that people became relaxed when a professional grabbed their hand during a crisis.

“One……”

The adventurer breathed while following my command. I stealthily pulled out the dagger.

“Two……”

It was at the moment he was going to breathe out. With the blade, I slit his throat. Calm breathing could never come out of his mouth ever again. Blood filled his gullet and his breathing couldn’t become words. The only sound to come out were gurgles and coughs. Shortly after, the man met death.

At about the same time the man stopped breathing in my arms, the golem had taken care of the other remaining person.

The golem simply raised its foot and stomped the last man. The human body was a lot harder than I had expected. A man’s body wasn’t crushed immediately.

A terrible scream came from the adventurer each time the golem’s feet came down. The screams grew weaker as the stomping continued. At a certain point, the screams itself had stopped completely. Only the sound of bones breaking echoed lowly. The sticky substance attached to the golem’s foot was probably the man’s guts.

It was a gruesome conclusion.

“……Hoo.”

I sat back against the cave wall.

Exhaustion weighed down on my entire body. The heat had yet to subside. I didn’t know that warmth could be so unpleasant. On the other hand, the cold coming off the wall was good. It was the perfect temperature for me right now.

Half the temperature.

Half.

“……It’s not over yet.”

I muttered to myself.

I felt tired as if I had stayed up for four nights in a row. Regardless, I had several manuals carved into my skull. Carved like the ancient hieroglyphics in Egypt. The instincts, that was implanted into me since I was a child, whispered to me.

‘Clean up everything.’

If you don’t want your crime to be caught henceforth.

‘End what you’ve started.’

If you don’t want malice and apprehension to remain.

“……”

I calmly knitted my brows.

My pounding chest slowed down.

My breathing settled and my composure returned.

Humans were beasts of instincts.

If you create an instinct for every possible situation, then no matter when and where you are, you’ll be able to cope like a beast of prey.

There was no need for trial and error.

In that sense, my father’s words were correct.

In truth, I, ‘whose life was in danger’ responded by ‘getting rid of the humans who endangered me’ with no hesitation whatsoever. You could say it was thanks to that I could stay alive. (TL note: He means during the process of killing, not the instant before summoning the golem)

“At any rate, father is still…”

Even after death he was haunting me like a bothersome ghost.

I stood up and went through the pockets of the corpses. This was not stealing.

I’m only taking back what was mine. After going through all the inside pockets and shoes, my fortune went up to 34 gold coins.

It was enough to summon one more golem and a goblin as well.

“Map Window”

The inner map of the cave popped up in mid-air.

I wonder if it was because they were moving cautiously, but the other two groups hadn’t gotten that far ahead. I decided to go and wait at the locations that they’ll arrive at. Using a shortcut unknown to the adventurers, I got ahead of them.

“Shit, why is there a monster left……!”

The second battle commenced.

The plan was very simple.

The golem was sitting in a dark corner of the tunnel. As much as its body was made of stone, in a dark tunnel, it was impossible to tell the golem apart from the other boulders. So thus, right when the adventurers were passing by, I launched a sudden attack.

The surprise attack worked nicely.

On the first hit an adventurer’s head was destroyed. Another adventurer was then grasped by the golem’s hand, it then crushed the body with ease.

It took merely 40 seconds for the unit of three to shrink down to only a single man standing.

“Keuuk!?”

I stabbed the back of the remaining adventurer who was focusing on only the golem.

This time it wasn’t a dagger but a long sword. The blade fully pierced through his chest.

“It can’t, be……”

The adventurer looked down at his chest. He had an expression on his face as if he couldn’t believe that a sword was going through his chest.

The adventurer twisted his face, bright red bloodshot eyes glared at me.

“Demon Lord, you bastard…… betrayed us……!”

“……”

I pulled the long sword out.

The man fell to the floor. I wonder if the blade had sliced his lungs. His last breath just now was wheezy. Like the sound of air leaking out of a punctured bicycle wheel. That was the man’s last scream.

“Betrayal, huh.”

You were wrong.

I never betrayed you men. On the contrary, it was the opposite. You men were the invaders and this was Dantalian’s home. If you had not charged in here, then you wouldn’t have had to die.

“Haah.”

I went through the pockets of the corpses.

Red blood was stained on the copper and silver coins. I held these coins tightly.

As long as I was trapped in the role of the Demon Lord Dantalian, other adventurer parties will come to capture me in the future. In preparation for that day, I have to collect war funds.

Demon Lord Castle’s Wealth
Withdrawal Amount: xx Libra
Total Balance: 58 Libra
※Warning. If you withdraw too much at once, you may go bankrupt.

I deposited the money into the castle vault.

If you included the 20 Libra that I had spent on summoning the golem, then I was almost back to having the original amount I had started with. Now everything will be over once I got rid of Riff’s group. I climbed up onto the golem’s shoulder and headed towards the next stage.

In a moment, I arrived at the entrance of the castle.

I made the golem lie in wait and stood in a dignified stance at the cave entrance.

Around 20 minutes passed. From the other side of the tunnel a group emerged. It was Riff’s unit.

“Hm? If it isn’t your honorable Demon Lord.”

Riff recognized me and creased his brows.

“How come you’re by yourself? Where are the others?”

I did not answer.

I wonder if they had noticed that the atmosphere was grim. The group stopped walking on their own. Well, if you had eyes then it was normal to feel like something was off. My entire body was fatigued.

“Your honor. I asked where the others are.”

Riff asked again. Impatience started to show on his face. ‘Everyone is alright. They left to do something real quick’. He was probably hoping for this kind of response. I cut down that hope mercilessly.

“They’re dead.”

“…… eh?”

“They’re all dead. Not just the group that was with me. Excluding your group, all seven men have died. They’re probably enjoying a nice beer together in the after life.”

A voice so cold came out of my mouth that it even surprised me as well. It wasn’t simply cold, but a strong feeling of mockery was mixed in as well. You could tell by the contorting look on Riff’s face.

“Don’t tell me…… the enemy attacked on both sides?”

“Sir Riff. Please stop acting the fool when you already understood what has happened. If what you said was correct, then there’s no chance for me to be standing here like this.”

I chuckled.

“There are no invading enemy forces anywhere in the castle. That was a lie. A big fat lie.”

“What?”

“Do you still not understand? It was purely a strategy made to kill each and every one of you.”

The adventurer’s faces changed dramatically.

From welcoming to suspicion. From suspicion to rage.

But this wasn’t enough. My goal was to raise their rage into wrath. I twisted the edges of my mouth and grinned widely.

“It’s all thanks to you, Riff. I’m honestly grateful that you believed me so easily. Adventurers trusting a Demon Lord. The main character to make this unlaughable comedy a success was not me, but you.”

“It was all a trick……?”

“Yes. I killed all 7 people with these hands.”

I took out the dagger I had hidden within my clothes. You could see the blood distinctively on the blade.

“This person and that person were all nothing but fools. Each time I stabbed their necks with this dagger, they each reacted by opening their eyes wide. Did you all honestly believe that a Demon Lord like myself would obediently cooperate? That’s why beginner adventurers who lack experience are laughable.”

“……”

“The newbie’s reaction was especially amazing. He looked at me and muttered ‘It can’t be’ even though blood was pouring out of his throat. So I politely stabbed him one more time. His wife back home should be relieved. She’s better off not having such a foolish hu—”

[Adventurer Riff’s affection went down by 21.]

[Adventurer Zed’s affection went down by 23.]

[Adventurer Zack’s affection went down by 20.]

The affection of the three adventurers instantly fell to 0. And amongst those three, someone had thrown a stone at me as hard as they could. With a thuck the stone hit my forehead. The rock contained a lot of killing intent. He probably intended to finish me with that. But, unfortunately, the aim was slightly off so after scratching a bit of my forehead it had flown passed me.

“—That’s not right.”

I’m sorry to say, but that was your last chance to hit me. If you had tossed it a bit better I may have died. You may have received the happy ending of ‘the adventurers defeated the Demon Lord’. It might have been a very slim chance but that opportunity very much existed.

“Not the side of my head, but here.”

I tapped the center of my forehead with my finger.

“∎∎∎∎, ∎∎∎∎∎—!”

It was at that moment the golem attacked them from behind. The golem, that was crouched like a boulder a second ago, reached out its arms.

It was the final battle.

Please do your best to resist, Riff. You’re the first human to push my head down onto the ground in the past 10 years. I’ve been vowing to repay you back fully for what you did for quite a while now.

▯Adventurer, Cowardly Looter, Riff Hoffman
Empire Calender: Year 1505, Month 4, Day 4
Dantalian’s Demon Lord Castle

Impossible. This is impossible!

What is that man? He’s giving off a completely different atmosphere compared to earlier! Where’d the man who kept lowering his head like a small fry disappear to? Who is that man over there who’s grinning so shamelessly……!?

“Kuaaaaaaah!”

Shit, another one got done in.

It was especially bad that the golem had come from behind. Before we could even react someone was already dead. We tried our best to fight with just us two but…… damn it.

The weakness of inexperienced adventurers was revealed here. The other remaining adventurer was getting too worked up so he wasn’t able to back me up properly. This half-wit. Excitement will only become poison during combat. How has he not shoved this basic information into his skull yet!

…… no. The person who brought these greenhorns to the Demon Lord’s castle was me. I was blinded by greed and ended up making a mistake. At the time I didn’t think it was wrong. I kept telling myself that it was a smart idea. In the end, did my foolishness bring upon this misfortune……?

The words the Demon Lord had said while he was being cynical was right. We were too careless. Shit. But I don’t plan to die easily, you know!

Despite everything, I’m still a professional when it comes to surviving. I’ll struggle disgracefully to the very end if I have to.

“I-I surrender!”

I tossed away my shield and sword.

The man before me uttered a “Oh?”, and raised the corners of his mouth. That smile came incredibly naturally to him. That was probably his true-self; cold-blooded, merciless, and more sinister than anyone else.

“Aren’t you being quite well-behaved, Captain Riff.”

“I will do whatever you want if you spare my life. I-I really did not know. That your honor was such a terrifying person. Please, I beg for your forgiveness.”

I did my best to display a pathetic expression.

It was obvious what was going on in your head, Demon Lord.

You had won and I had lost. The positions were suddenly switched. The Demon Lord who was pretending to be the loser until now was finally able to reverse the situation.

You’re probably thrilled and excited. It’s clear that you’ll want to enjoy this as much as you can. To take delight in your victory by humiliating me as you please.

“I was dull and foolish. I apologize, honorable Demon Lord! Please feel pity for this lowly human and grant me mercy! I will never step foot in your honor’s territory ever again……!”

I slammed my forehead against the floor repetitively.

I didn’t care if this method was loud and pathetic. It was better if it was noisy. The most important part was to satisfy the other person’s pride. Sure enough, the Demon Lord grinned.

“I see. If you wish to apologize then do so by cutting off your own hand.”

“M-My hand?”

“Yes. Do so and I will let you live. I won’t cut your arms or legs off either.”

The Demon Lord chuckled.

“Think carefully. In truth, I’m the one at a loss in this trade.”

It was the exact words that I had tossed in ridicule at the Demon Lord before. Those words came right back at me like an arrow. I grinded my teeth.

But this was a chance. I would be able to take out a weapon without having to worry about drawing suspicion.

“Of course. I will more than gladly cut my hand. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you very much, honorable Demon Lord……”

I took out the dagger that was attached to my hip.

While lifting up the dagger in the air as if to bring it down onto my hand, I stood up just like that and charged at the Demon Lord.

You naively showed an opening, Demon Lord Dantalian!

“Haaaaaaaaaa!”

I ran while crying out. I’m sorry to say but I’m gifted at controlling people’s psychology. It’s your own fault for getting overconfident and lowering your guard just because you were so close to winning.

The Demon Lord may have been holding a long sword, but it was too late to get into a proper stance. The golem behind me probably won’t make it on time. Even if the front or the back moves, I’ll be the first to stab this blade into the damn Demon Lord!

I put more spirit into my body and thrust my dagger forward and—

My body staggered right before I could reach him.

“Uhiik!?”

I ended up letting out a questionable noise. My foot had suddenly stopped. When I looked down I saw a bluish slime wrapped around my right foot.

I was unable to withstand the momentum I was running with a second ago and fell forward. I groaned as I desperately tried to take my foot out of the slime. It wouldn’t budge.

1 second, 2 second had passed before my mind started catching up to what had happened. Since when did he prepare something like a slime? Don’t tell me, from the very beginning? Are you telling me that he knew from the start that I was pretending to surrender?

Then, something large crushed my body.

“Kuuaah!”

The golem had slammed its fist down onto my lower body. My legs were obviously destroyed and my waist along with them. I could vividly feel the sensation of my bones breaking. The intense pain made everything in front of me start to blur and fade.

Something was flowing out of me. Was it my blood? It could possibly be my innards. Whatever it was, this was my end. I had never experienced something like dying before, but for some reason I had the strong feeling of ‘I will die here’.

“Damn, it……”

I vomited blood. I couldn’t even muster the strength to talk. A blurry shadow came into my fading vision. The shadow moved, then, a blade stabbed into my throat.

To make sure that I was dead at this point.

Isn’t that a bit too much for a life that was already destined to die?

Before everything went dark I was able to see the other person’s face for just a moment. The man was looking down at me and smiling.

“—Go back to your mother’s womb and learn again, amateur.”

dunde-145

 

A devilish grin was there.

Is that so.

Is that what the race known as Demon Lords are.

Kuh. From the start, this was a monster that a low-class adventurer like me should have never dared to go after. It was us who were the ones being hunted, not him. I had stupidly forgotten my position on the food chain……

For an animal that was unable to recognize a predator, the only fate that laid in wait for them was death. I had vowed to never fight monsters in my life and live as a looter, but in the end I ended up facing the final of final monsters.

My vision was black. Even after death I’ll probably be severely regretting my foolishness……

▯Weakest Demon Lord, Rank 71st, Dantalian
Empire Calendar: Year 1505, Month 4, Day 4
Dantalian’s Demon Lord Castle

“Haaaa.”

Once I made sure Riff was dead I let out a long sigh.

It was over. I toppled down and sat on the floor. It felt as if my extremely sensitive nerves had been put into a spa and were starting to melt. It was the aftereffect for running my brain on full throttle for 3 hours straight.

After receiving a mysterious survey in my email I was dropped into a different world. It was a shock that I had become a Demon Lord in a world where a hero was the protagonist, but to also discover that I was the weakest Demon Lord, Dantalian. Without being able to properly figure out what was going on, I had to face a group of adventurers and was eventually able to kill them all.

This all happened in 3 hours. It was obvious that my brain would be so exhausted. Thank you for going through the effort, my pretty brain(TL note: He says this in English). You worked to the point that some brain cells most likely evaporated.

[1. Annihilate the adventurers like this.]

[2. Be taken by the adventurers like this.]

The words that were lying in the corner of my view shined brightly.

The letters broke apart into little white particles and then formed different lines.

[A cruel and merciless decision!]

[Infamy increased slightly.]

“Not a cruel decision but a wise decision.”

I blurted out in rebuttal.

Then how else was I supposed to deal with a gang of people who had invaded with the intention to kill me? Were we supposed to grab each others’ hands and sing songs about how we’re all one? What an unfunny joke.

[Tutorial Clear!]

The sound of a victory horn rang loudly.

A row of notification windows appeared in mid-air.

[You will receive a difficulty bonus.]

[LUNATIC— You will receive the highest bonus.]

[S-Grade privileges will be selectable.]

[Please select a privilege.]

[※Warning: The systems automatically presented during the tutorial will not be accessible after this point. If there is a system that you really want to keep then please select it in the privileges.]

That’s kind of you.

So it meant that things like being able to see the Demon Lord Castle’s status, seeing other people’s stats, and showing your affection rate with other people were given as a service only during the tutorial.

It was a sampler. To test out all the systems first and then later decide which one you need the most.

A list of all the privileges appeared in front of me.

Nest Building Demon Lord(S) Observe the state of the castle and extend it.
Zeus’s Eagle(S) No matter what terrain, be able to see a real-time map.
Cronus’s Heritage(S) Every 10 years you are able to save your progress.
Aphrodite’s Apostle(S) Be able to see the affection rate of other people.

Athena’s Apostle(S) Your leadership ability goes up to Great Hero rank.
Ares’s Apostle(S) Your might ability goes up to Great Hero rank.
Apollon’s Apostle(S) Your intelligence ability goes up to Great Hero rank.
Demeter’s Apostle(S) Your politics ability goes up to Great Hero rank.
Hermes’s Apostle(S) Your charm ability goes up to Great Hero rank.
Hephaestus’ Apostle(S) Your technique ability goes up to Great Hero rank.

Dionysus’s Foot(S) All saintesses in every shrine worships you.
Poseidon’s Arm(S) 50 highest-class aquatic demons obey you.
Hera’s Ear(S) You can understand and use every demon language.
Hade’s Eye(S) You gain an exclusive storage for your items and money.
Prometheus’s Hand(S) You can hire and summon monsters whenever you desire.

“Wow. That sure is a lot……”

I looked through the list with bleary eyes.

The desire to fall over and take a nap weighed down on me heavily.

I originally wasn’t a sincere human. I was someone who revered being lazy. Can’t you tell by the fact that I had moved to some remote neighborhood and spent my days just playing computer games as soon as my father had passed away? I worked too much today!

“Uh, I guess… yeah. Let’s go with Aphrodite’s Apostle.”

I spoke as if I was trying to shoo away a friend who kept bothering me.

Being able to see the cave map was probably Zeus’s Eagle, being able to move money in and out of the vault whenever I wanted to was probably Hade’s Eye, and being able to freely summon monsters was probably Prometheus’s Hand. All of these were tempting.

However, the most cheat like skill amongst these was the ability to read other people’s minds and check affection rate. To be able to read minds. If you combined my acting skills and the ability to read minds, then I didn’t have to ever worry about going somewhere and starving to death.

[You have chosen a privilege.]

[Your stats will be distributed according to how you cleared the tutorial.]

Okay, okay.

Was it over now?

I was already leaning back against the golem. The golem’s body was made of stone and yet it was strangely warm. It was acceptable to use as a bed.
Mr. Golem. I’m sorry but I’ll be using your body as a bed for a bit.

“∎∎, ∎∎∎……

The golem let out a soft grumble. I don’t know what he had said but the meaning got across. Make use of me whenever you please, should be a decent translation of what it had said.

A demon who’s gentle to their master but merciless to adventurers. How cool. I almost fell for you. The golem’s body really was warm. As if sleep would envelop me immediately……

What this place was.

Why this place had a similar universe to Dungeon Attack.

How systems that normally only appeared in games appeared here.

There was no way to answer these questions in my current situation. Regardless, I can clearly state what will happen from now on.

I plan to lay around and sleep all day.


dunde-152

Name: Dantalian
Race: Demon Lord
Job: Monarch(F)
Reputation: Failed Scholar

Leadership: C rank / Might: F rank / Intelligence: A rank
Politics: S rank / Charm: C rank / Technique: F rank

Title: None
Abilities: Eloquence SS, Speech S, Acting S
Skills: Aphrodite’s Apostle(S)

[Achievements: 0]


TL note: Please, Dantalian, don’t go down the Golem route.
Honestly, after writing this chapter, it felt more like I had finished writing an entire volume. That illustration in this chapter was one of the main reason why I fell in love with this series. If you guys like the story so far then you’ll love the later chapters. Dantalian’s performance shall continue! According to my other friends who had read this book, they all said that the first two chapters weren’t even the best chapters. So you can look forward to the rest.

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55 thoughts on “Dungeon Defense: Volume 1 – Chapter 2 (Part 3)

  1. I really like the protagonist. Everything about him was highly interesting. Even his twisted pessimism is amusing. I’m really looking forward to more of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really don’t get why he didn’t choose Cronus’s Heritage. Doesn’t an ability to save grant an ability to load, resulting in an essential immortality?

    Like

    1. I thought he’d choose the one which grants Max Might, you know? Enormous amounts of strength makes the first stages of the game pretty easy, you can accumulate a lot of EXP and wealth with enough brute strength.
      Naturally, brute strength isn’t enough when the playing field becomes more complicated, but he should accumulate enough of these “privileges” by then.

      Like

    2. This ability is a broken crap in the world where you powerless as butterfly and can become dead in next instant(10 years is like millennium for him)without really good abilities – he have good brain up to the point of puppet master, can act godly and lipspeak Satan(well, he is), but knowing nothing about surrounding people is fatal, especially for pessimism who just can’t believe in them for good reason because in previous world he already saw all the shit that human soul pocess, it’s the best to know it beforehand.

      Usage of castle is unusable outside, his own power can’t deal with any situation even if become great hero rank level, usage of map in world with ultimate long-range magic and teleports are so-so, he already intelligent and politically enhanced enough, leadership is a matter of time and brain power so it’s matter of time when it becomes S, other perks no so usable in long run too so if it’s only choice of one ability then he dine well.

      Like

  3. I’m having mixed feelings with this. It has a lot of great and interesting elements:

    ‣The MC being a demon and a villain is a rather nice setup.

    ‣The MC himself isn’t that bad.

    ‣There is also a potential for good interactions, particularly his interactions with the other demon lords.

    ‣And the Golem. Enough said.

    But there are also things I don’t like:

    ‣One thing in particular I don’t like is how stupid the characters (aside from the MC) are. I don’t particularly find it satisfying to find Dantalian defeating him.

    ‣Related to above, the characters (aside from the MC) is rather uninteresting. This story even give you a POV from one of them which just highlights how unnteresting they are.

    ‣It is supposed to be Lunatic level, the hardest of the hard… it isn’t really. It said in the end that the MC has to use his brains a lot… hmmmmm. Not really.

    ‣Another thing I don’t like is the setting. From what I can gather, it was all very uncreative and somewhat uninteresting. A cave? Nothing even noteworthy about it.

    The first two chapters weren’t even the best chapters, your friends said. They are right because it is not even good in the first place.

    But then, I might just be to critical when the story just started yet. But really, I do hope that it isn’t constantly like this: MC tricking characters that are just too stupid to live.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Albeit I had actually spent a good deal of time to respond to every point you made, I realized that most of those issues you had are pretty much because you had only read up to chapter 2.
      The thing about the difficulty setting though, well, honestly, how much harder would you want his beginning to be? He’s already the weakest Demon Lord. He has a broken ankle. He also has a limited amount of gold he could use. He had to rely purely on his acting ability and wits to deal with parts that specifically displayed the moments he had to use his head. You said the other characters were absolute idiots, but it could be more to the fact that Dantalian was that talented in deceiving them. I mean, unless you skimmed over the story, these faults shouldn’t really come out that prominently.
      Edit) I may have come off as a bit crude in that comment, so I’d like to apologize. I honestly appreciate that you’re actually giving this series an opportunity, and I won’t try to shove what I love down your throat, everyone can enjoy it to their own desire. I just hope that you’ll stick around long enough to eventually warm up to the story more!

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I didn’t skim, I read the story, and my opinion still doesn’t change.

        Yes, he does have to act, and he has broken ankles, but the main reason he succeed is because the enemies are incredibly stupid. All of those, the deceptions, the acting, the lies; all of those could have all failed if the enemies just have even a little more common sense. They don’t even know how to fight. They could not even hit Dantalian with a rock when he was just close and standing still.

        I mean, if you meet a demon, would you really beleive what it would say? It is a demon for god’s sake.

        Really, these faults are prominent because they are there, not because I skimmed. Analyzing the story would even bring out its faults.

        Then again, it might get better in the later chapters as you said.

        Like

      2. The point is, the people with common sense will not try to venture to Dantalian shabby castle as there is no point in doing so. And ever heard Stockholm Syndrome?

        Liked by 3 people

      1. Don’t be a dickwad. That’s not what he said. He gave the opinion that these chapters were not as creative as they could’ve been, as pretty much everything was resolved thanks to the villains being “stupid”, and not because of an elaborate process which kept expanding the depth of the story, and of the characters; Even the narrative itself agrees to this point, by stating how much of a miracle it was that these buffoons actually believed him, and fell for his acting.


        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?

        These chapters could’ve been more creative if it fleshed out more what it means to be a Demon Lord, rather than “some pleb in a cave with a Player’s UI”, or made the process from Fiend to Friend a bit more believable, rather than just having the MC tell some random sob story and having these people actually sympathize with what is otherwise Demonic Hitler (in their eyes).

        I personally don’t think it’s that horrible that we have a pretty “easy” start, with ridiculously too-dumb-to-live villains. It’s a game, whatever, even though the intro was uncreative, the narrative itself flowed well enough to carry it through, and make me expect good things in the future.

        Like

      2. You guys are over analizyng this, its not about the greater deception of the century, is about being able to make people split their group into manageable numbers to take them down, “talk them and convince them to divide” is the whole plot, how can you guys find so many flaws towards such a simple objective?
        Simple: because you are nitpicking on irrelevances

        Like

    2. I also wonder how this will turn up. The narrative and writing (also translation~) flow pretty darn well, so either way I think this’ll be enjoyable.
      Hopefully the future “kukuku” moments would be a bit more elaborate.

      Like

  4. [That was the idea I was originally going to purpose.] -> [That was the idea I was originally going to propose.]

    AND WHAT!?

    [TL note: Please, Dantalian, don’t go down the Golem route.]

    !? Golems are best.

    = w =

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Yep, get a nice milf golem and travel the world. If you can cut of the horn without dying then this is the best solution for someone lazy.

    Like

  6. Dayum, that expression! He’s extremely ruthless. I don’t think I could have been. My affection stats go up easily and I can’t bear to cut off such a thing. I approve! Be a clever sort of ruthless! That’s much better for survival.

    Thanks for the chapter!

    Like

  7. So, Dantalion got a chance to check his priviledge?

    “CRUUUNCH! (TL note: If you know a better word to portray biting down onto something, be my guest)”

    What about “Omnomnomnom”?
    Well, “chomp, chomp” sounds better for me

    “Demon Lord, you bastard…… betrayed us……!”

    This remembered me of that Discworld novel, the heroes are teamed up with a guy called Evil Harry Terror and they are discussing if it was the right time for him to betray them as he was evil, Harry was not really willing to betray them but he as the bad guy and had to follow the customs

    Thanks for the translation

    Like

  8. Even golems needs love…. maybe

    Anyway, just picked up this novel today, the quality is good even though its your first one, thanks for the chapters and the next ones that i will read.

    Please grant this poor soul’s wish to receive more graceful translations of this interesting novel

    Like

  9. Lunatic mode.? It be nice to see how this level difficulty consider to be as lunatic. As far I can see the mc is not complaining about it or being cynical how easy he accomplished the quest being it is the hardest mode.

    Like

  10. Why are the adventures afraid of other adventurer’s group. If you are so afraid. Then give them the money and the demon lord… Then go home.. Problem solved.. But no, they had to be stupid.

    Like

  11. I find it funny that there is only one ability given as reward during lunatic mode. I mean with common sense, wouldn’t people still get one ability in easier modes like beginner mode? It even said that it will increase its rewards, so shouldn’t he get at least two or three abilities?

    Like

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