After wasting time discussing about pointless things, we finally reached the conference room. Simone knocked on the door and permission was granted to us to enter. Upon entering, I found that as usual everyone was already present.
This has been happening almost every day. What’s with this feeling of being left out?
“Just where have you been? Simone had been looking for you for an hour!”
Chloe exclaimed the moment I entered the room.
Hmm? She has been looking for me for an hour? Wow.
I glanced at her to confirm the validity of Chloe’s claims, but she just turned her face. Looks like Chloe is right.
“I was in the library reading books.”
“Library? You sure love reading. Anyway, a problem has arisen.”
A problem? Did Simone attack someone else?
“A regiment of Demons was sighted near the entrance of the dungeon.” (Reishu)
A regiment? What the fuck is a regiment doing there?
“Give me more details please.”
Reishu pointed to the map on the table and started explaining.
“The entrance to the dungeon you’re going to enter is located in a cave at the foot of a mountain. The mountains are in the forests just outside Blatan. However, when I sent scouts today to check up on the area surrounding the forest, they reported that the forest in a radius of about 1 km was cleared out. Moreover, a regiment of Demons had set up a camp around the cave.”
This has become troublesome god damnit.
“Who’s the commander of this regiment?”
“We don’t know. But we’ve confirmed that there is at least no Commandment with them.”
No Commandment? Could it be?
“What do you make of this, King Reishu?”
Let’s seek the opinions of a professional.
“There are two possibilities: first is that the Demons are preparing to attack this city, so they have set up camp there. That one is highly unlikely though.”
Yeah. After interacting with Regina, I know for a fact that she’s not an idiot. If she wanted to invade and occupy this city ruled by Reishu, one of the strongest among mankind, then she would have sent a much bigger group, probably the size of an army, along with at least two of the Commandments. So, we can cross out the possibility of any attack on this city.
Which means that they are there for that dungeon.
“The second possibility is that they are interested in the dungeon. This dungeon is quite peculiar because the monsters who spawn there are reported to be much stronger than an ordinary dungeon, so much so that ordinary people, adventurers included, are banned from even entering it. It’s ranked at SSS by the guild, something never seen before. This makes it a pretty good grinding spot for the strong, and I’m more than sure that the rewards for clearing the dungeon are outrageous as well.”
A dungeon where even the strongest of people can raise their abilities. Sounds like a perfect training place for the Demon King and the Commandments.
“What are the chances that the Demon King, and maybe the Commandments as well, have entered the dungeon to increase their abilities and take the rewards for themselves?”
Reishu pursed his lips for a moment, as if troubled about what to say, but said it anyway.
“Given the facts surrounding this incident and some other bits of information, I’d say that the odds…… are quite high.”
That means that if I were to enter that dungeon, then I’ll encounter the Demon King and most probably a battle to death will ensue.
Well, I guess it’s time to meet Regina again. Let’s have a proper battle, or negotiations- whatever works, this time.
But I should probably ask others before making the final decision. We’re a party after all.
“What do you say, Hargreave?”
Hargreave acted like he was really giving it a thought, balancing the merits and demerits to arrive at a conclusion in his mind, but I know all of that is an act.
“Enter the labyrinth and confront the minotaur- this has always been your policy, right? Then I don’t think there’s any particular need to stray away from it. Let’s go to that dungeon.”
Yep, I knew it.
“What about everyone else?”
“We should go there right now. The Demon King is already strong enough as it is, leaving her alone right now would make her even stronger.”
Liera declared something sensible for once.
“I’ll go wherever you go.” (Shiggurath)
Please give it some more thought, you two. Fighting with the Demon King means putting your life on the line.
All eyes now settled on Chloe, the only one who hadn’t answered. She started fidgeting in her chair due to the pressure from us and was sweating, probably due to remembering her defeat from last time.
“Don’t worry Chloe. Remember how much we have trained over the past month. Just believe in yourself.”
Liera encouraged her. Chloe nodded to her, took a few deep breaths to calm herself, and finally declared with a new determination in her eyes.
“I’ll go! This time I’ll teach that Almarick a lesson!”
She won’t get the chance to fight though. Well, there’s no need to mention it and spill water over the fire burning in her heart.
“So, how should we enter that dungeon? Fighting with the regiment and then entering isn’t a viable option as that would tire us out and also alert the Demon King inside.”
At this point, Simone, who has been silent until now, spoke up.
“I suggest that we attack the demons with an army of our own, wipe them out and then send the Heroes to that dungeon.”
Didn’t she listen to what I just said about exhaustion and alerting the enemies? Moreover, is she even qualified to speak on matters related to military? Does she even have the basic knowledge of wars?
Moreover, sending an army there would require a lot of time, and at the same time would leave this city unguarded. If this regiment were to turn out to be a bait to lure us out, we would be done for. I’d say that we should enter the dungeon stealthily.
I told her about my thoughts (except the part where I was insulting her, of course).
“Of course, I know about all of that. However, just how do you expect to stealthily enter the cave when its surrounded by so many Demons? We’d need a diversion for sure.”
She knew? I guess I’ll have to take my words back. She at least seems to have rudimentary knowledge about tactical warfare. And the issue she pointed out, she’s also right about that. No one in this party has skills good enough to prevent detection from such a large number of demons. Well, Jack has, but he isn’t the only one who has to enter.
“You need a diversion, right? How about using me?”
Reishu suddenly spoke up.
“Are you fine with that? I don’t think a King should head out to act as a diversion.”
It would be problematic if some complications arose and he died due to them. We can’t have a ruler of a country dying in this time of war.
“You haven’t forgotten, have you? I’m the king of Lanpas, the militant nation where power rules. I’m more than sure that I can handle a regiment or two. Moreover, if it turns out that this was merely a diversion and their real target was the city, then it would be easier for me, a single man, to return than an entire army.”
He declared with a slightly haughty tone. Well, that makes sense. Should I go along with him?
“Father you can’t!”
And as expected, the fathercon interfered.