「According to Shiro, she was holding back but those were most likely the movements of a thief……or so she says. She is probably a spy. If we were to search her luggage, various tools would probably come out. Could the small-type bow sniper that attacked the expeditionary force have been Therese?」
While whispering to Dahlia who was in my arms, I peered into the water basin that was installed in the living room and used for surveillance.
When it became midnight, Therese slipped out of the room I gave her, left the area she was guided to, snuck into several rooms including the mine tunnels and workshop, and installed things in the rooms in ways that would hide them. She wasn’t working to steal things. There was a possibility that she was making a map, but Therese shouldn’t have a need to begin an attack on us right now. After all, she estimated the expeditionary force’s fighting power to be lower than it is, and told me that their arrival time would be half a day later than it would be. Moreover, this was after I said 「I guess we could also just run away」. Ten to one, her aim is probably to have us and the expeditionary force clash. She was probably intending to use us as fighting power……or maybe as a diversion. If that is the case, she would probably contact the betrayer that was in the expeditionary force……most likely the Officer of Arms……with some sort of means, and accelerate their march. In other words, there was the possibility that, at the shortest, the expeditionary force would come and attack midday tomorrow. I think that won’t happen, but we should probably move under the assumption of the worst case happening.
Dahlia whispered. Looking, in the reflection that came from the 「eye」 that was installed at the entrance of dungeon, something was happening at the large jewel that Dahlia placed in the ground. Opening a voice pipe, I tried testing it to see if it could pick up sounds.
「……Yes, ……has little intent to fight……」
「He is a young man……fact that he has blue skin, and if you exclude that he has several horns, he is too……」
「Yes, his confinement until tomorrow evening is……」
「The dungeon’s interior……so you can tell……」
「Escape until then is……」
I wasn’t able to hear everything. But even so, I could tell that she was conversing with someone by using that jewel. Most likely, it was that Officer of Arms. I am really glad that I changed my outward appearance. That jewel is probably much stronger and can reach a much further distance than the verbal message device that I used when I degraded Sara. There’s no mistake that the Assassin’s Guild is either quite rich, or a rich person is the client. Another possibility could be that they have hired a Magician or a Magic Tool Craftsman. ……At the very least, the Assassin’s Guild might be surpassing the current me in terms of funds and tools. To be honest, I don’t want to make enemies of them though.
It seemed that Therese’s report had ended. She silently returned to the guest room that I had allocated her. Closing the voice pipe, I whispered to Dahlia while the spy who named herself Therese was still reflected in the water basin.
「Once it’s just before dawn, could you bring me one of those things that that girl hid?」
Since Dahlia had a constitution that made it difficult for poison to work on her, there were a lot of things that I requested of her with those hands.
「……I understand, Master.」
When she said those words, Dahlia stood up and started putting on her clothes. When she wiped up the cum that leaked out from her crotch with her hand, she licked it off while looking reluctant to part with it.
「If it is for Master’s sake, I am even fine with being destroyed……」
「Oi oi, please don’t go saying such ominous things so freely. Did something happen while I wasn’t around?」
On her face that scarcely had expressions, Dahlia showed a bit of sorrow, and said this with a small voice.
「Master is, thinking of saving the expeditionary force’s commanding officer, and take care of her. ……I start to wonder if you won’t need me anymore once that happens.」
Ahh, so that’s it. As a demon, Dahlia shouldn’t have most of her memories of the past.
It seems that fragmentary memories and emotions return to her sometimes like flashbacks, but because of the special trait of her race of Golem, they seldom show on her face. But even so, at the beginning of the life of the demon called Dahlia that I brought forth, and at the end of the life of the village girl called Dahlia that was once a person, she was in contact with a person that was me, and even if it were a fabrication, she had memories that I treated her kindly. For this girl, there wasn’t anyone other than me that she could target her dependence on. Putting aside Astarte who was together with us since the time she was born as a demon, every time a woman appeared around me that I showed the same affection as I did with her if not more, Dahlia probably became afraid that her own worth would disappear.
Normally, she would give up her own share, and probably made it so that it didn’t show up on her face. Even the village girl Dahlia lived while keeping the sad and painful things deep inside. As I thought, even after becoming a demon, that nature of hers hadn’t changed.
Pulling Dahlia’s arm, I pulled her down onto the bed one more time.
Dahlia showed a faint amount of fear. She was probably thinking that it was because she said something that she shouldn’t have.
「Dahlia, who do you belong to?」
This was a reconfirmation of her slave brand. Sometimes there was a need to make Sara remember that she was under my control, but it looked like I needed to make Dahlia reconfirm that she was mine in a different meaning.
That time that I decided to become a Dungeon Master, and when I changed Dahlia into a demon. It was something that was done after a moment of thinking, though the possibility of a future where I might have been able to live together with Dahlia was already gone. Even if there was hesitation in our intents for each other, it ended with me changing a person that might have loved me even for an instant and making her into my property. It was either Dahlia would be destroyed, be broken……or become my property until the day I died.
「Dahlia, answer me. Who do you belong to, and for whose sake do you exist for?」
「I, am Master’s……Eliott-sama’s property. I, exist for Eliott-sama’s sake. Therefore, please use me more. Even if I break, even if I am broken, I won’t mind!」
When I pressed her with those questions with a strong tone, Dahlia was timid, however, she answered carrying a clear will.
「That’s no good. You don’t understand.」
Dahlia’s countenance froze from my words of denial. Using that chance, I spit out these words all at once.
「It’s fine that you are mine. It’s also natural that you exist for my sake. However, Dahlia, the one that decides when I will use you is me, not you. And I won’t allow you to break as you please. I never had any intention of giving you freedom. Do you understand?」
If I have driven another person’s life to madness, let’s control them to the very end. I am plenty aware of the point that have driven them mad. But even so, I believe that is something needed for me. ……I might have already changed into a demon.
「……Yes. Dahlia is, yours, Master. I won’t, break without Master’s permission either. So please, use me forever. ……Master.」
When Dahlia once again swore her obedience to me, very faintly, she smiled looking delighted.
「Cooperate with Astarte, and be sure to burn that incense while Therese is sleeping. Once it becomes morning, call her and guide her to the hall. Although I don’t think that she will ring the bell and call for you before the morning sun rises, if something happens, be sure to deal with it immediately.」
After that, I ended up ravishing Dahlia again, and wrinkles were made on her maid clothes. Well, since this isn’t a noble’s house, there isn’t a need to mind if there a couple of wrinkles or not, but the smell of cum being on her might be a bit unpleasant. ……Well, since I am the evil ruler of a dungeon, there is no need to worry about appearances in regards to that.
Sending Dahlia out from the room, I once again faced the diagram of the mine. There was a few hours left until dawn. Only the setting up of traps had finished, but there still might be things that can be done. Since Therese will probably take her leave around the time she finished her morning meal, I should probably capture her by then. In case she has good intuition, there is the possibility that she will escape the moment it’s daybreak, but since it would cause us to carry some sort of suspicion if she were to do that, Therese will most likely be unable to run away until her morning meal and greetings were finished. I didn’t know just how much she knew, but with the fact that the months and years since the Assassin’s Guild appeared in Abram is still short, it also meant that there weren’t many members that could be trusted. Seeing as how she was entrusted with negotiations while being solo, she must be seen as possessing a certain amount of authority. In that case, she had value as a source of information.
Since she was handling poison, the possibility that she possessed resistance against common poisons was high. Because there was the possibility that average poisons and medicines would be unable to compete with her, I should probably first use a hand that is scarcely known even if it was valuable. In that case……
Adjusting the medicines, modifying the demons’ stations, re-examining the traps, verifying the operation of the mechanisms. While I was finishing all of this, it had most likely become the time for the night to end. In the end, it turned out to be an all night job, but I finished up as much as I could. I suppose I should leave the rest to Astarte and take a nap until breakfast time……
At that time, the alarm device that was setup in the room made a small flash. That was a sign that the pendant that was installed at the inn was picked up by someone. The person that knew about that place, was none other than Olivia.
……That’s fast. It wasn’t Therese’s errored information. They were just half a day faster than the estimate that we had hypothesized. To begin with, I had never heard of an armed force that marched before dawn. Also, being able to arrive yesterday, that was unbelievable in terms of their marching speed. In that case, there was one answer. Their base camp was in the vicinity, and she probably came with a small number of people in the early morning to do some reconnaissance. In other words, the main force was in a place that wouldn’t even take one hour with the cavalry’s mobility. There was no mistake that the expeditionary force’s capturing of the dungeon would start at midday today.