Chapter 16 – Filing for Reparations
Hearing the sound of applause ring throughout the throne room, Miss Leonora snapped around, turning her gaze towards the source────towards the throne. On the throne that the No Life King had been sitting on earlier was an eerie patchwork doll.
Well, it’s a doll made by me though, since I had the time.
I tried making it with Tena as the model, but for some reason I’ve always been bad at sewing, so it didn’t come out the way I wanted. I tried getting Tena to have a little look to see what she thought of it, but I seriously made her cry. Was it that big of a shock that a doll like that was based on her, or was it simply because she was afraid of it? I still don’t know.
I thought about throwing it away… or rather, I did throw it away, and countless times too, but it’d return before I knew it. Mn, seems like it’s cursed. It’s because it took me an hour to make it, so I accidentally enchanted it.
I used teleport to place it on the throne, but to be honest there isn’t much meaning to the doll. I apparently earned the girl’s resentment sometime somewhere, so I wanted to try talking to her, but it was scary to meet her directly, so I decided to talk to her through the dungeon core using its voice reception system. But in that case she probably wouldn’t know where to face when talking, so I left something random as both a target for speaking, and as my representative.
Once I talk to her, my existence will be revealed, but well, even in the worst case scenario, from what I can tell from the battle, if I prepare a number of No Life King level monsters, I should be able to manage somehow.
『What the hell are you?』
『I’m the dungeon master of this dungeon. The doll is just something to represent me, so there’s no point in attacking it. If you want it, I’ll give it to you after our talk is done.』
『You think anyone would want such an ugly doll?』
Well, that’s right I guess. I’d be extremely happy if somebody took this cursed doll away though. Even if I give it away, there’s a high chance that it’ll come back though.
『But still, the dungeon master, you say? The No Life King from just now wasn’t the lord of this place?』
『That was the 10th floor mid-boss.』
『I see. So the lord that the undead king obeys is you, huh? That bastard. Even though he was spouting great lines about not kneeling to even the demon king, to think that he was a dog in the end.』
A dog, huh. Besides leaving the defence of the 10th floor to him────it might have been a ‘her’ though────I more or less left him alone, so even now I’m not sure if we had something like a master-servant relationship.
『Well, that doesn’t matter anymore. More importantly… in other words, the arrogant bastard that I’m after is you, then.』
Miss Leonora glared at the doll. Even though she was all beaten up from her deathmatch with the No Life King, that dreadful gaze of hers projected on the screen made me shiver… Not. She probably intended on glaring at me through the doll, but the camera for the dungeon core isn’t in the doll but looking at her from an angle instead, so it didn’t really feel like I was being glared at.
『I want to know what you’re angry about.』
『Hmph, asking the obvious! I’ve come here to give the death penalty to the fool who calls themselves the Evil God!』
『? Why is that what you’re getting confused about? It’s rumoured amongst the people in town that the Evil God lives in this dungeon, you know!』
『You’re the first person I’ve spoken to as a dungeon master. I have no memory of calling myself something like the Evil God.』
Even if I did have the chance to give my name, I have absolutely zero intention of calling myself the Evil God. But still, I’m kind of worried about the rumour in Riemel. Why is it being spread that I’m the Evil God? But if there wasn’t something to start it off, I don’t think such a rumour would appear though.
『You didn’t give your name?』
『I-, I see…』
When I cleanly denied it, Miss Leonora started to have a cold sweat. Becoming fidgety and restless, her gaze began wandering here and there.
『In other words… it was a stubborn misunderstanding?』
When I pointed that out, she reacted with a start, and her unrest intensified. Almost like a small child frightened by their parent’s scolding.
『Umm… I… you could say that there’s not no chance that that’s what happened, or rather…』
『The No Life King that I spent 1,000,000 mana points on.』
I didn’t tell a lie. I can create three each day, so it’s not really a big deal though.
I don’t really mind, but her reactions are interesting, so I’ll try pressuring her a little. Miss Leonora groaned with a sour expression at my words.
『I-, It can’t be helped… I’ll make it up to you, but, what should I do?』
『Work as the 10th floor mid-boss in his stead.』
『Wha-!? Are you telling me to submit to you!?』
Ah, crap. Did I get a little carried away? Just now her face turned red and showed her indignation.
『A temporary hire. It’s fine even if we aren’t master and servant.』
It seems that Miss Leonora is extremely picky about master and servant relationships. I said that earlier as half a joke and want to take back my words, but if I say ‘Just kidding.’ at this point, she’d get angry, huh.
『The No Life King’s job. I’ll do it in his place.』
Geh-, if you really did that I’d be troubled, you know?
『However! I have no intention of working under somebody whose face I’ve never seen! I’ll only agree after meeting you directly and making a judgement! This is something I’ll absolutely not budge on!』
In other words, she wants to have an interview with me? A ploy for a sneak attack…? Doesn’t seem so. She seems bad at that sort of cunning. Well, once she meets me she’ll probably get let down and lose her intention of obeying me. I’m level 1 after all.
『Got it. In that case──』
I’ll head down now, or so I wanted to say, but she cut me off and declared with a determined expression.
『Alright, in that case I’ll immediately head down to the lowest floor. Wait there for a little!』
H-, hey… Unaffected by me trying to stop her in a fluster, Miss Leonora made way into the path behind the throne. It seems that she’s the type of person who becomes really hard to talk to once she’s decided on something.
No matter how strong she might be, even by the quickest estimates it’ll probably take her 2 days to get down to the 31st floor. On top of that, the 11th to 20th floors are puzzle-solving floors that you can’t brute force your way through, so if she gets stuck on one, it’ll take forever. Do I have to keep waiting for her all that time?
Having said that though, going by how she looks, she doesn’t seem like she’ll listen to a thing I say at this point. It can’t be helped. I’ll have her continue until she feels satisfied, and once she gives up I’ll give her an invitation.
Miss Leonora had managed the splendid accomplishment of reaching as far as the 10th floor in a day, but as expected, from the 11th floor onwards, she fell into a slump of 1 floor per day.
Day 1, the 11th floor quiz floor.
A floor where you’d be given 10 questions with 3 choices each, and progressed by getting them correct. If you made a mistake, you’d be forcefully sent to the beginning of the floor and forced to redo it all.
『Aahh, even though I finally got as far as 8 questions!?』
『Unfortunate. You’re returning to the start.』
Day 2, the 12th floor moving ground floor.
When you stepped on a panel with an arrow, you’d automatically be moved that way, and flying was forbidden. Unless you carefully planned out where you’d get on, you wouldn’t be able to progress like you wanted. On a game screen where you could look down from above, it was a puzzle that you’d immediately be able to figure out with just a little thinking, but it might be quite difficult once it’s all spread out in front of you.
『Arghhhh, even though I could see the stairs right in front of me…-!』
『Slow and steady wins the race.』
Day 3, the 13th floor rotating floor.
It’s a gimmick where the floor rotates everywhere. All of the rooms were circular and the exits were all equally spaced apart, so once you got spun around, you wouldn’t know which way to go. And while you were there, if you span too much…
『…I, I veel zick.』
『As a fellow warrior[samurai], I’ll shut my eyes and ears to this.』
Ah-, when was it that I said that I wasn’t a samurai again? As you’d expect it was really too pitiful, so I teleported in a cup of water for her.
『Isn’t it about time to give up?』
『D-, Don’t joke with me. I-, I can still go on…』
So she said, but however you looked at it, she had lost quite a bit of spirit compared to before. Even looking on as a bystander, you could tell that her spirit was about to break.
By the way, because Miss Leonora assumed that it would be a shallow dungeon, she came in almost completely empty handed, and of course she didn’t have a single ration with her. I found that I couldn’t just watch her challenge the quizzes while her stomach growled, so I sent in bread and soup. On the first day, Miss Leonora was stubborn and wouldn’t eat the food, but once the second day came, perhaps because she couldn’t bear the hunger, she reluctantly ate.
『T-, To begin with, what’s with this!? This mountain of tricks!』
『Who are you calling a musclehead! You, once I get to the lowest floor you’re going to get a good punch!』
『I wonder if I should stop sending food.』
『Wha-!? S-, Starvation tactics are for cowards!』
I don’t want to hear that from somebody who didn’t bring any provisions. To begin with, there’s no other dungeon that provides reception as good as 3 meals a day, so I’d like her to be a little thankful.
『By the way, there’s something I’d like to ask, but, how just many floors does this dungeon have?』
Ah-, has she finally realised? Honestly, I think she should have asked this to begin with though. Knowing how many floors there are would provide a hint on how to conquer the dungeon so I can’t really make it public, but if it’s just her then I guess it’s fine. From our conversations so far, I can tell that she isn’t the sort to spread this around after all.
Miss Leonora paled, speechless. Despite having advanced through the dungeon while enduring hardships, she still hadn’t even reached the halfway point, so I guess it’s natural. Having said that, even if the 21st to 30th floor exist, they still aren’t finished yet, so the hardest part of the dungeon are the middle floors that she’s on right now, but I don’t think I’ll tell her.
『Gu-… Certainly at this rate, I can’t help but agree that it’ll be difficult to reach the bottom floor, but… if I don’t make it to the lowest floor, I won’t be able to see you, right?』
『When I spoke to you on the 10th floor, I had planned to head to where you were.』
『What!? Then, my three days of toil were…』
『It’s what you reap for deciding not to listen.』
Being poked where it hurt, Miss Leonora fell into silence.
『I get it. It’s frustrating, but I’ll give up on getting there.』
Seeing her say that with a reluctant expression, I patted my chest in relief. It looked like conquering the 11th floor and down had amassed quite alot of resentment, so if she made it to the bottom floor by her own strength I’d probably get beat up, so I was secretly trembling with fear. She probably isn’t shameless enough that she’d beat me even after giving up and then being invited here.
From the very beginning, I didn’t intend on having her act as the midboss, but having talked to her for these three days, I know that she’s a pleasant person, and I’d be happy if we could build a friendly relationship.
『Got it. I’ll prepare a teleportation circle for you so get on it.』
At first I had planned on inviting her into the residential area, but just in case by some chance negotiations got violent, I decided to meet her somewhere else. Well, judging by her personality, I don’t think that’ll happen though.
The 30th floor boss room is just the room right now with no boss in it yet, so it’s just right.
By the way, I’ve already deployed the 20th floor boss. I summoned a living armour made of orihalcon and tried enchanting it with divine protection while I was at it, but it turned into something brutal.
I was thinking of placing on the 30th floor a dragon that’s so common to fantasy worlds, but since I was doing it anyway, I might as well make it the strongest one, I thought, so I’m saving up mana in the dungeon core right now.
Eh? Wasn’t I limiting the monsters to non-living ones so that I wouldn’t kill anyone, you ask? Well, heroic warriors who could make it this far will probably be fine.
…Mn? I thought that non-living monsters would be safe since they wouldn’t disobey me without an ego, but when he was defeated by Miss Leonora, the No Life King spoke, didn’t he? …I wonder why.
I moved to the 30th floor and then sat down properly on the throne. Neither my personality nor clothing have any trace of dignity, so I have to try my best to look even a little more proper.
Speaking of which, I’ve established thrones like in the 10th floor boss room, and in the 20th and 30th as well, but thinking about it carefully, neither of the bosses are the right size to sit on a chair made for humans… They ended up being useless. Well, they’re serving me like this now, so maybe they were useful after all.
While I was thinking about things, the large doors opened with a groan. The teleport circle that Miss Leonora used brought her to the room before this one, so she’s properly arrived. When I turned to look at the entrance, I could see a girl with silver hair in a red armoured dress.
I waited for her to enter the room, but she showed no signs of moving at all. Could it be that she can’t enter unless she’s given permission? Or so I was wondering, but she eventually slowly made way into the room.
From my point of view, she was pale enough that I was worried for her, and I could see sweat was running from her face. She walked slowly and after a few minutes arrived at a place 10 metres away from me, when she stopped still. It’ll be hard to talk like this, so I’d have liked her to have come closer, but well, it’s not a distance that we can’t hear each other, so I guess this is fine.
“Nice to meet “Please excuse my actions!” …you?”
She suddenly dogeza’d at me. Speaking of which, I get the feeling that the explanation for the mystic eyes said something about being strong enough to have a demon king dogeza. A terror strong enough to make the daughter of the demon king dogeza as well… perhaps?
“Um, “I deeply apologise for my many acts of rudeness! If it’s something I can do, I will do anything! So, please… please have mercy on my countrymen!” ”
Why did it turn into a scene where I looked like I was going to attack the Demon Race Territory? I haven’t the tiniest intention of doing that, you know.
“No, you really need to “I beg of you, please punish me alone.” …listen to me.”
I got irritated at the conversation going nowhere, and unconsciously pulled out my tantou and threw it. The cursed tantou pierced right in front of her eyes, and Miss Leonora let out a voiceless scream.
“Raise your head, and stand.”
“Just do it.”
I spoke a little overbearingly and forced her to stand. Miss Leonora snapped up and stood still at attention.
“I’m not angry.”
“I have no intention of punishing you either.”
Miss Leonora who seemed truly relieved even had tears form at her eyes. I’m not mad at what’s happened up until now, but rather, it’s the back-and-forth we had just then that annoyed me, you know.
“And also, about the 10th floor boss…”
“R-, Right! Of course I shall carry out my duties with all my heart!”
“You don’t need to do it.”
The other day I said it half-jokingly, but if she actually did that, I’d be troubled. If the daughter of the demon king did something like work as a mid-boss, I’d be liable to make enemies of both the human race and the demon race. As for the 10th floor boss, I can just create a No Life King again. Or rather, after Miss Leonora continued down to the 11th floor, I’d already created a new one and deployed him already. Mysteriously he knew my name from the start, but I wonder why.
“In exchange, there’s a favour I’d like to ask.”
“W-, Whatever you would like!”
“I want you to be my friend.”
It was from beyond the screen, but the three days that I spent talking to her was quite enjoyable. It’s a shame that she’s frightened because of my skill, but even so, I’d like to think that there’s room to get along enough that she won’t run away even so.
In the worst case scenario, since I already know that we can talk to each other normally once separated across the screen, both considering my feelings, as well as her position as the daughter of the demon king, if possible I’d like to get along with her.
“U-, Understood! Please allow me to humbly become your friend.”
“We’re friends, so you don’t need the keigo.”
“Unders… Got it.”
My first friend in this world, GET.
I didn’t threaten her into it.
…I didn’t, right?
“so I’ll try pressuring her a little.”
The “pressuring” is actually “repeatedly attacking with questions etc. to press her for an answer”.