DUNGEON DEFENSE - DUNGEON DEFENSE Volume 1 - Intermission
▯Keuncuska Merchant, Mixed Blood, Lapis Lazuli
Empire Calendar: Year 1505, Month 4, Day 5
Keuncuska Firm Office
Rank 71st, Demon Lord Dantalian.
The connection between myself and this foolish Demon Lord was rather deep.
1 year ago, by bribing the people in the firm, I had obtained the position of Dantalian’s exclusive consultant.
Originally, the Keuncuska Firm did not treat Demon Lords below the rank of 60 as customers. It would lower the quality of the firm. That was the reason.
However, to me, a Demon Lord like Dantalian was essential. In order for an outcast like myself to succeed, I had to use a Demon Lord. Demon Lords of a higher rank will most likely not bother even dealing with me. In that sense, Dantalian was the most suitable candidate.
It was fine to swear at me and call me a girl who was blinded by success.
It’s true, after all.
“Hahaha. For the people of Keuncuska to come looking for the great me, you people do indeed have a good eye that befits the greatest firm in the demon world.”
At first, Dantalian welcomed me with delight. To be accepted as a customer of Keuncuska had the same meaning as being recognized as an influential Demon Lord. He must have been happy.
“What is your name?”
“This one is called Lapis Lazuli.”
“Oho. Your looks are quite outstanding.”
His highness’ gaze drifted over my body.
Should I say that he wasn’t rank 71st for no reason? He gave off the rancid stench of being a small fry. He may have been born as a Demon Lord, but he had no character or talent.
But it was fine. I came here resolute that this would happen.
……Well, if you were to ask if I was disappointed, then of course I would say I was.
“Good. What is your race?”
“I am a succubus, your highness.”
“A succubus! That makes it more charming.”
It may have only been half, but I was still a succubus. Even if my eyes were closed, I could sense the sexual desires of other people around me. Right now, Demon Lord Dantalian was lusting over me.
In my life, I had received hundreds and thousands of gazes from people desiring for my body. Yes, I had no intentions of acting clean at this point. I would more than gladly accept becoming a Demon Lord’s mistress.
A girl will sell her body for authority.
There’s nothing weird about that, right?
As a merchant, I thought that this attitude was very appropriate.
……Except, the problem was that there were no Demon Lords mad enough to buy my body.
“Raise your head. As today is the day that this great one has been recognized by the Keuncuska Firm, I am very pleased. Tonight, this great one shall open a banquet for you.”
“Your highness. This one is a mix blood between a succubus and a human.”
The Demon Lord’s face instantly froze.
Yes. Despite having received hundreds and thousands of gazes full of carnal desire, the reason why I was still pure laid here. The reaction of every single person to hear of my birth was this. How amazing.
“The banquet is cancelled.”
The Demon Lord quickly stood up.
“Go tell the merchants of Keuncuska. That they will pay dearly for having dared to humiliate this great one!”
“As this one is ordered to.”
“This vulgar crossbreed.”
The Demon Lord had spit.
The saliva landed directly on my face. I had heard that his highness Dantalian did not have any talent in martial arts, but it seems I shouldn’t have believed in those rumors. Behold. Does he not at least have an aptitude for archery?
As soon as the Demon Lord had left the reception room.
I took out a hand mirror and a handkerchief. With trained hands, I wiped the saliva from my face. If you thought that this kind of thing happened to me only once or twice, then that was a huge miscalculation.
Hundreds and thousands of times.
I said so before, right?
In short, Dantalian was a fool that was beyond saving. There were most likely no one who liked him, excluding his own mother. Although, Demon Lords aren’t born between two people, but are naturally formed by a distorted concentration of magic.
It was fine.
I had made my resolve.
If the other party was trash that was beyond being of use, then all you had to do was reform their personality anew.
I had disguised myself as a human and sold maps of the Demon Lord castle to adventurers.
The number of troops, the location of traps, and even the patrol routes. I handed over everything.
The adventurers were quite avaricious.
As soon as they had obtained the map, they went straight for the Demon Lord castle. Was it three or four times? Due to the invading adventurers the castle quickly turned into ruin.
In other words, it was shock therapy.
His highness Dantalian was most certainly a larva that was beyond remedy. But what if his castle was to be completely destroyed? What if all of his underlings were to die? There was a chance that he would regain his senses.
This kind of inverse concept was sort of my specialty.
I’ll happily accept compliments.
Since compliments don’t cost money.
Of course, I also had another aim.
Imagine what kind of position Demon Lord Dantalian would be in. The defenses of his castle had collapsed. His troops were obviously gone as well. Now where could he hang on to? The bed of his that was in a dump? Would the black mantle that Mr. Demon Lord went around wearing so proudly suddenly turn into a magic cape and create a miracle?
Fortunately, there was one person remaining.
Was there not that succubus merchant who was acting as his exclusive consultant?
It was a simple modification.
If the other party didn’t seem like they were going to trust you— then get rid of every single individual that he could possibly trust, except yourself.
There may have been a path to slowly gain his trust over the course of time. But if there was one attribute that a merchant required, then it was the knowledge that ‘slowly’ was actually a synonym of ‘wasting time’.
I am a merchant of Keuncuska.
Any kind of waste was unpardonable.
The adventurers had destroyed the Demon Lord castle.
However, they had failed in capturing his highness Dantalian. They came out of the cave with angry steps. They were about to go home empty-handed.
I had hired a top-class assassin to kill them.
“Please kill them all.
“All of ’em?”
“Yes. Every last one.”
The adventurers knew that I was the person to have sold them the map. In a thousand to one chance, if information about me were to spread to somewhere else then that would have been troubling. I had to get rid of the witnesses thoroughly.
The first party, the second party, and the third party, they were all killed off by the assassin. If I were to confess something here, then it was that I aimed for perfection no matter what I did.
“……The fourth party is not coming out from the cave?”
At that time, I had received an unexpected report.
The assassin nodded.
“Yeah. I think they probably died.”
“His highness Dantalian does not have any more troops in his castle. There are no requisites for the adventurers to have lost their lives. Check again.”
“I already checked.”
The assassin let out an annoyed voice.
“Was it not a party of 10 adventurers? I looked through the entire cave and found 10 bodies. Although, it was hard to tell since their heads were cut off and their limbs were torn.”
“……That is strange.”
Did his highness Dantalian have a hidden card up his sleeve?
No matter how I looked, I had watched over the Demon Lord for a year. There shouldn’t be a secret that I wasn’t able to find out……
Was there a mistake? I missed something? ……Me?
I do not overestimate or underestimate people. I, myself, was included in this. Having a level-headed discerning eye was my talent, after all. I could judge whenever a person was sickening food waste in a shallow pile of filth.
It wasn’t a talent that was given to just anyone.
“How were the adventurers murdered?”
“I don’t know.”
“There’s a chance that there was an internal conflict.”
“I said I don’t know!”
The assassin glared at me.
The emotion contained in his eyes was scorn.
“Don’t talk to me thoughtlessly. The very fact that I’m talking with a half-breed hybrid is unpleasant! Damn it. I really did decline far…… to be accepting money from some peasant!”
The assassin spit towards the general direction of my foot.
It seems he was feeling ashamed for even breathing the same air as I was. Oh, I am very sorry.
Whenever a person spewed saliva in front of me, I would always wonder where all that bodily fluids were coming from. I could only hope that they weren’t pulling it right from their brains. Their already poor intelligence would only get worse.
“Hurry up and pay up the commission fee. 4 gold per head. That’s 32 gold, to be exact. I’ll tell you this now, but don’t go trying to cut the price now. It is ‘as promised’. As long as everything goes as promised, then everything will end without a problem.”
“Assassins put an emphasis on promises too, I see.”
“Hey, peasant. I’m not in the mood to joke or hook up with someone like you. Do I have to spit on your face and not the ground for you to understand that?”
“Look at my eyes.”
“Oi. You’re going to pay the price one day acting like that……”
“Look straight into my eyes.”
The assassin creased his brows.
He wasn’t able to lay a hand on me anyway because of our contract. He glared at me temperamentally.
I received his gaze and spoke clearly.
“Quietly. Look into my eyes.”
“Count all of my eyelashes one by one. Remember the color of my eyes. The texture of my pupil. Examine the patterns slowly.”
“……Is there any historical reason for this bullshit?”
“No, there is none.”
I took a small phial out from my coat.
It was a glass bottle filled with a transparent liquid.
“Except, there is a meaning for you.”
“What is that supposed to be?”
“It is poison, for you. Honorable Mr. Assassin.”
The assassin froze.
It was always enjoyable watching people’s facial expressions change when suddenly faced with an unexpected situation. It’d be fine to call it one of the small joys of life.
“What, kind…… of bad joke……”
“The commission fee has already been sent to the assassination group in Niflheim. Your superior told me to pass on this message. Habitually, waves themselves must know when to stop. The ocean is blue so it is time to cease and engulf the boat.“
The assassin’s complexion became pale.
“It seems to be a verse that’s in common use in assassination groups.”
“Since when, did you?”
“From the very beginning.”
From the beginning.
I may have been exceptionally skilled, but I had requested for a manpower that was ‘disposable’. The assassination group had supplied me with an individual that suited my demand perfectly.
Whether they were making use of their manpower appropriately or not determined the group’s integrity. In that regard, the assassin group in Niflheim has maintained a very wholesome level. Other organizations should learn from them.
The assassin received the vial.
“Do you have any last words you’d like to say?”
The assassin stared down at the glass bottle for a moment before taking the cap off and drinking the poison in a single gulp. He then fell to the floor and started to mutter.
Over a long period of time.
The assassin collapsed completely.
I took out a dagger and slit the assassin’s throat. I had heard that a competent assassin could play dead whenever they desired. Once. Twice. Thrice. And finally for the fourth time. I assuredly ended the other person’s life.
It should be appropriate to confess once again here.
No matter what I did, I aimed for perfection.
Anyway, there was a need to meet his highness Dantalian in person.
Conciliating the adventurers and hiring an assassin did not consume a small fee. It was about time to start retrieving my investments.
If, due to the crisis, his highness Dantalian’s personality had changed completely…… that would be the best possible scenario. If his character was still the same, then the only person the Demon Lord could rely on was me anyway. It was a gamble that I could not lose.
It was just to my liking.
I shall go hunt the ensnared fox.
TL Note: The final story related release of Volume 1! I’m glad you were all able to make this journey. You have now finished reading all 466 pages of the first volume of Dungeon Defense. I’ll be releasing the afterword tomorrow morning since my head hurts a lot right now. Damn weather has been all floppy, being hot and then raining all of a sudden. I might have a cold.
Anyways, see you guys in the afterword.