Chapter 11: Let’s Crush the Foolish Emperor, Part 5
「Damn it! Little girl body! This little girl body is amazing!」
「Shut up Logan, you’re being too noisy . 」
Mari scoffed at Logan, who was shouting at his reflection in the mirror in a disgusting voice .
「Lord Aur, do we really have to do it now?」
「Yes, we have to . Now accept it and be silent for a moment . 」
Aur replied to Mari as he examined the collar around her neck . Since it was said to be unremovable, even Aur was not sure whether or not he would be able to remove it .
「It would appear that this thing is rigged with self-destruction function, so I think it would be better to leave it be for now . 」
「But it’s a bother for me . Quite a big one at that!」
「I know it’s a bother for you, but right now we don’t have any better options . 」
For the time being they decided it would be best to leave the control of Mari’s body up to Logan, but Aur altered the collar in such a way that Mari’s voice could now be heard by everyone .
「Lilu, how is the situation on your end?」
「Still no response . 」
Lilu said as she retreated her consciousness back form Eldav’s mind . Her collar was the same as Mari’s, but no matter how deep she went there was still no response from her . It would seem that her soul hid itself very deeply inside of it .
「I can’t imagine what she had to go through when she was captured like this . 」
Zana said that Eldav was the better half of Uzermart’s Omniscience ability . Aur thought that now that she was with them they could use it to their advantage, but apparently that was not the case .
「Do not lose hope, everything’s going to be fine .
Lilu said brightly, but Zana was still not convinced .
「If this was something made by human hands, then me and Aur will find a way to break it!」
「…You’re right, thank you . And sorry . 」
Zana then smiles weakly .
But the feelings in her chest just didn’t want to go away .
Anxiety and irritation .
And also an intense, burning hatred .
「Papa, I came . 」
Three days after Mari and Logan’s escape, Sofia came to Aur as he was working in his office .
「Could you project the scenery outside for me?」
「Yup . 」
As Sofia nods, the walls become see-through, projecting the scenery outside of the dungeon as if it was a window . They were still relatively far away, but he could definitely see myriads of Immortal Sand Soldiers crossing the Yaegaki mountain range and heading towards the Dungeon .
「As I thought, there is not that much of them . 」
Their numbers were still quite considerable, but not so big as to fill the land up to the horizon . There was much less of them than what Tena saw in her vision .
「Looks like he was telling the truth when he said that the production of the sufficient flame will take time . 」
Aur was talking about Uzermart’s means of melting the snow in the mountains . But rather than melting all of it, it would seem that he has chosen to only melt the amount that would allow his troops to pass through .
It was the best he could muster at the current moment .
「Sofia, can you do it?」
「I’ll do my best!」
Sofia trembled a little, but she nodded her head nonetheless .
「I won’t bother you anymore then . Tatsuki, Sakuya, Misha, can you assist her?」
「Tatsuki will do it no problem!」
「With that many talented people, we absolutely cannot fail . 」
「Protecting the young is the elder’s responsibility . We will talk about my reward for it later . 」
All three of them agreed to assist the young Dungeon Master even though they are not really Aur’s subordinates and don’t have any obligation to follow his orders .
「Yutsu, Tena, Hoderi, make sure not to push yourselves too hard, you hear?」
「And if it gets too dangerous, make sure to get out of there on the double . 」
「I swear on my life that I will do it . 」
「Don’t do it . Just don’t . 」
Aur was worried when he heard Hoderi’s reaction, but there was nothing he could about it now .
He passed through a small gate and returned to work . After all, they were in a middle of the race against time .
「Let’s do it then!」
Sofia puts her hands in front of her and channels energy to them .
「NNNNNnnnn… . Eeeeeeeeeeeeei!」
When she gave that spirited cry, suddenly trees rose in front of the Mountain of Trials and turned into a thick forest .
「Elder sister Misha, can you give me a hand?!」
「With pleasure . Take as much as you need from me!」
Misha placed her hand on Sofia’s shoulder and poured her power into her . In reaction to that, more trees appeared and they soared into the sky forming twisted arcs, and among them, a giant, long silhouette with armor as black as tar and a hundred legs could be seen . It was the giant centipede that Aur tamed the other day .
When it climbed to the top of the trees and was exposed to sunlight, it began to scream and went on an anger-fueled rampage as it sensed the soldiers entering the forest . They weren’t able to see it exactly, but right about now the enormous insect must be crushing thousands of them with its gigantic body .
「Now is the demons turn . Which ones should we send first?」
Before Aur’s eyes, masses of small demons and monsters were fleeing the rampaging centipede, flooding the paths of the forest like a flood of spiders . They weren’t even fighting the soldiers, they were simply trampling all over them .
「Make sure to entertain our guests some more . 」
Aur muttered with satisfaction as he waved his hands and turned around, changing himself into a bird .
These monsters and demons were rather cowardly, but there numbers alone were enough to deal serious damage to the hordes of the Undead that were now stuck in the forest, unable to advance further . They were also a perfect tool to manipulate the enemies exactly where he wanted them to go . So far, they were playing them like a fiddle .
Needless to say, many of the monsters were going to be slaughtered, but their numbers were so large that losing some of them won’t impact the Dungeon in any significant way, and besides, they were breeding at such a fast pace that their lost numbers will soon be replenished back to normal . So this was a perfect way to get the Immortal Sand Army through a real bloodbath .
Unfortunately, not all of their opponents were just foot soldiers . The ranks of Uzermart’s army of Undead had quite a number of cavalry units riding on dead horses in it . Were they the members of the cavalry when they were still alive, or were they granted their mounts only after death? Either way, such musings were quite meaningless now . The fact remained that the ones with the horses were intelligent enough to outmaneuver both the monsters and the centipede, and managed to invade the mountain of trials .
「I won’t let you advance any further!」
But Tena was already there to stand in their way .
She had fur over her entire body, four tails were springing out from between her legs, and a number of fireflies were gathered around her .
The soldiers before her froze right in their tracks, waited for reinforcements, and formed a row with them .
There was ten of them in total . Five cavalry members with long spears, and five foot soldiers armed with tower shields to protect those that stood behind them .
Tena’s fire was strong, but not strong enough to incinerate all of them at once .
「Come at me!」
All ten enemies rushed her at once and she prepared to counter them as they drew closer . But before they could reach her, they were swallowed up by the magma that sprouted from below the floor .
「Rushing in blindly without knowing anything about your surroundings, you really are a bunch of fools . 」
Tena jumped behind the remaining ones and used the fire from her tails to clean up the rest of the dead soldiers .
「Without anyone to guide them, they are no threat . They are too stupid to realize that numbers aren’t everything . 」
A figure clad in a kimono that was not charred by the fire emerged from the boiling magma . It was Sakuya, the former master of this mountain .
「We’re in luck that there is no one commanding them… Sakuya, dodge!」
Sakuya quickly turned back hearing Tena’s sharp warning . She managed to deflect the incoming sword with her fan, resulting only in the cutting of the hem of her clothing .
Retreating after a failed blow was the clad in light black armor . Behind him were a dozen more undead just like him .
「My oh my, they move just like Hoseli . 」
「Truly the worst match for someone like us . 」
Both Sakuya and Tena use flames . Fighting against the nimble enemy who could avoid their attacks simply by jumping around was not their preferred way to spend the afternoon .
「So it looks like we need to switch things up a little . 」
One of the dead threw his dagger towards Sakuya, but just as it was about to reach her, she was pushed back and a giant figure blocked her view of the area .
「I see that they possess considerable skills for a bunch of moving corpses . 」
Hoderi was standing in front of her with his sword ready . Just from his stance alone, the enemies judged him to be of tremendous strength .
The enemies had one dagger in each hand, and they surrounded him by using a fan formation .
「Not bad, but still mediocre!」
At that time, a large amount of seawater descends on them from above their heads .
「Tatsuki, you realize that you can’t drown these guys, do you?」
「Eh, no way!」
Tatsuki replied to Hoderi while being drenched with water all over .
Immortal Sand soldiers are already dead . Something like being drowned won’t kill them . But water would serve as a nice way to dull their nimble movements .
「Don’t hold it against me, but it is all for the sake of our victory against your master . 」
Hoderi said as he grinned from ear to ear, his eye snapped widely open, and he swung his weapon at the enemies struggling in the water . They could not avoid his swift movements, and were being slashed apart without any difficulty . But since they were puppets programmed only to kill, it had no impact on their morale at all . So Hoderi decided to move in for the kill with the poison he held in his beastly belly, and with which his crocodile fangs were coated with .
「Thank you for the meal~~」
Tatsuki also joined the feast and munched on the corpses who were unable to resist . She chewed on them, swallowed what little flesh they had and gargled on it while making unpleasant sounds .
「Eww, that’s gross!」
「Have you no sense of delicacy, Tatsuki?」
「Eeeeee… seconds please?」
Tatsuki just tilted her head at Hoderi’s words .
She didn’t mind that some of them were filled with Hoderi’s poison, and continued to munch on them . It was the same when she consumed a part of Yamata no Orochi earlier . To her, poison was simply a seasoning to the meal, and nothing else .
「Good work, everyone . 」
Sofia breathed deeply when they managed to repel the first wave of the enemy soldiers . And they only lost some small demons in the process, so this could be called a resounding success .
At least for now .
「Tena, how long is this going to last?」
「For about ten days, according to my prediction . 」
「For now, why don’t we organize our strategy in accordance with what we know about the enemy?」
Everybody agreed with Sakuya’s proposal .
The Immortal Sand Army comprised entirely of the undead who felt no fear or pain, and there was no distinction between night and day for them .
Right now they had no problems with the defense, but over time, any prolonged actions would only serve to decrease Sofia’s stamina, affecting her health negatively .
「This is bad, it’s earlier than the prediction said!」
And now was the seventh day of the defense of the Dungeon .
The numbers of the enemy forces were only increasing .
「I’ve failed . This is all my fault . 」
Sakuya looked at the small blooming flowers and realized that the current situation was a result of her own blunder .
She is a goddess of volcanoes and spring, and because she used too much of her flame powers, it affected the weather and caused the temperature of the air to increase, resulting in the faster melting of the snow .
Now there was nothing to stop the horde of immortal soldiers from advancing . Soon there will be so much of them that nothing will be able to stop them . No traps, no demons, no giant centipede . Even the mountains won’t be an obstacle to them, as they will just use one another as stepping stones instead of the ladders .
It will be just like one of those scenes where a swarm of ants devours a beast many times larger than themselves .
「The situation is now hopeless, Sofia, you need to run . 」
Sakuya said when she sensed that the enemy broke through the outer wall of the Dungeon and proceeded inside . Everyone else was evacuating, but only Sofia stubbornly refused to do so .
「We have no other option but to fill the entire mountain with lava and destroy it and you know it . 」
Even if it only buys us a little more time, she thought to herself .
「Papa will… papa will surely…」
「No, he won’t . This is no time for wishful thinking anymore . 」
If they wanted to win, they needed more time . And for that, they had to escape .
It was likely the result of Aur’s obsession with prediction and omniscience . All of his instructions were based on just that .
Sakuya believed that he won’t abandon them and run away .
But how in the hell were they going to turn the tides of this hopeless battle in their favour?
Powerful weapon? Or reinforcements?
Either way, it was all useless before the crushing might of their enemy .
Only a miracle would be able to save them now .
Wherever he went or whatever he wanted to do, Aur just won’t make it back here in time .
But Sofia shakes her head violently and escapes Sakuya’s hand .
「Stop being selfish, your father wouldn’t want you to die in vain!」
「I won’t! Because papa will save us, because he loves us all!」
「I know, but it will not amount to anything if we all die here!」
Even if she herself would not die so easily . But if the mountain gets destroyed, Sakuya would fall into a state of deep sleep . Sofia probably knew that too . That she would wake up again after thousand or even a million years, when no one of her friends and loved ones would be alive anymore .
「Papa will definitely come! He promised that to me!」
When Sofia screamed that, the walls of the room were destroyed and Immortal Sand Soldiers came inside like a flood .
Sakuya tried to burn them with her fan, but her flames no longer had any power in them . In that state, erupting the mountain was no longer possible .
「I thought I told you not to push yourself too hard, didn’t I?」
But they were not killed by the undead soldiers in the next moment, and the whole room was filled a very familiar voice that filled their hearts with hope .
「And I also thought that I told you that I believe in my daughter and all of you . 」
Sakuya opened her eyes widely when she saw that all of the soldiers in the chamber were cut cleanly into tiny pieces in a matter of seconds .
Sofia cried out and jumped into Aur’s arms with such force that he actually staggered and took a few steps back .
「Master… . Your body… . 」
「Yeah, as expected of nonstop work, I feel like falling asleep right here and there . 」
Aur answered her while yawning .
「But thankfully I managed to finish in time . Thank you . 」
「But… what is this?」
Sakuya asked weakly as she blushed while Aur caressed her cheeks .
「The best kind of reinforcements . 」