Every day spent in Rakshasa Citadale had been fulfilling. Coming into contact with a new world called warrior skills, I could discover myself growing stronger with each day passing and even came to reflect upon my own mistakes. That’s why I delayed using Transfer for as long as possible. I had thought that since Etaqua and Igneel were connected, Etaqua would show a reaction and let me know if ever something happened on the other side.
But now I couldn’t ignore it. The abyss had invaded reality. The dark merchants. They had come to Rakshasa Citadale, forcefully tearing apart the barrier and attacking. While it was important for myself to become stronger, it was just as important to reveal and hear the truth.
I heard what sounded like a snake. My arm felt a little numb as well, perhaps because I had yet to recover fully. When I opened my eyes, I saw that Igneel was sitting on the ground and looking at me.
Golden Dragon Igneel. Unlike Etaqua, however, his body hadn’t undergone a drastic growth. From front to back he was sized 1m at most, similar to the average dragon’s rate of body development. But the golden shine of his body was even more beautiful. An extraordinary phenomenon of mana, perhaps caused by his SS-grade magic power. I let out a smile seeing his welcoming figure.
“It’s been a long time.”
I estimated that about 50 days should have passed going by time in the abyss. When I spoke those words remaining seated on the throne, Igneel slightly unfurled his wings as if to express his joy as well. He had a quiet personality unlike Etaqua, so it felt like he only took only the minimum of necessary movements.
I was curious as to his growth during this time, because Etaqua and Igneel possessed the qualifications to become the strongest in their respective differing areas; physical and magical.
Name: Igneel (Value – 255,000)
Race: Golden Dragon
Flame King (Lv9, Mag+13)
Has inherited the powers of the Blessing of the Sage, Power of the Flame King.
Recognizes the user as the parent.
Indeed, my expectations weren’t disappointed. The amount of magic power was, in particular, at a praiseworthy level. There would probably be nothing to fear if he were to continue growing at this pace. Moreover, Igneel’s Flame King title raised magic power of all things. While the stat increase was lower than Etaqua’s, despite being at the same level, but it was in fact a positive factor when considering that it was magic power — although I couldn’t really point out this and that as good or bad, seeing as the both of them focused on completely different areas.
I slowly stood up.
“Where is Laila?”
Igneel tottered as he lead the way forward. Following behind, I made my way toward where Laila was.
A group of intimidating dwarves were sculpting something outside the castle. The sculpture appeared to be about 10m large, and a single glance at its massie body and wings was enough to call a certain person to mind.
To be specific, it was Uriel Diablo. The dwarves were making a stone statue of him, and at the side dark elf warriors riding smilodons were in the middle of doing something which looked like training. Laila was looking at them as if supervising or coaching. When I appeared, Laila was the very first to turn her head.
Then, appearing joyful, she approached me and kneeled. If she were a puppy, her ears would have been perked up and her tail wagging lightly. That about summed up the yearning that could be felt in the way she looked at me.
“Much seems to have changed during the time I was not here.”
“The first business carried out by the Absolute Domination Company was successful. 99 items, all of them were completely sold. It just happens so that Gourmandi had said he had something to speak with my Lord on that subject.”
“Yes. I have given him permission to build a separate house and live nearby, should I call for him?”
“No. It is fine for now.”
I shook my head, and did a calculation. The remaining stock of the Jewels of Space was 99. Each one went for 800 points, and 63% out of that made the actual profit. Since slightly less than 30 was sold before I had used Transfer, it meant that around 35,000 was earned. I drew a cross mark in midair and confirmed the remaining points.
[Points are being linked.]
[Remaining points – 26,600]
The original amount of points I had was around 13,000. Laila had used roughly 20,000 points. She must have used that to have the dwarves construct the statue, and to hire the dark elf warriors.
“Is that statue for the sake of honoring me?”
“Because the statue which was there before was destroyed in the war with Carpediem…my Lord’s ruling power should increase when this stone statue is completed.”
I fixed my gaze on the stone statue, and soon its related information popped up.
A stone statue depicting the demon lord ‘Uriel Diablo’.
It is filled with the devoted labor of dwarves. (69% completed)
Fame rises. (500)
Fame. It was correlated to the public evaluation of my name. It is said that with high fame, powerful beings would even come looking to become subordinates. Also, there were even buildings that required high fame before being able to be constructed. Before now there was nothing fame-worthy to my name, because I hadn’t made any personal achievements after awakening. It wasn’t a loss when looking at it that way.
“And the dark elves?”
“Carpediem’s provocations are becoming worse. Thus I had hired the dark elves for 1 year as a temporary measure, but is it not to your liking?”
There seemed to be around 200 of them, and every single one of them appeared worthy to be called a warrior. Several tens of thousands of points may not be enough to buy all of them, so it was only under the pretext of being ‘hired’ could they be commanded.
I nodded my head. In the first place, I had entrusted full authority to Laila in my absence. She was the guardian deity who had protected this castle for a long time. She was a faithful woman who would even throw away her life to protect Uriel Diablo, so she must have spent neither too much, nor too less. I gave her suitable praise.
“Well done. They look quite strong.”
“They are a rank 1 mercenary company who operate in the ‘Horizon of the Abyss’. Together with the 500 lancers in my Lord’s service, even Carpediem will not easily come attacking.”
“It is an honor to meet you, Uriel Diablo, demon lord. Please call me Hayman.”
Someone who looked to be the leader of the dark elf warriors approached. A man with a huge injury that spanned from his face to his back. I waved my hand, and he retreated.
“I shall be heading to the Dark Company. Make preparations.”
Laila didn’t ask the reason. She had unconditional trust whenever it came to what I wanted to do, after all.
Although it was important to meet Gourmandi and discuss the new business, taking a good look at the Dark Company came first for now. In doing so, I had to find out whether or not my conjectures were right.
‘The reason why gates are created.’
To find the answer to this question: was it possibly the dark merchants creating all of the ‘gates’?
Finding slaves, and plundering all other items. Was that the end of it? Perhaps there may be something else. A much bigger reason behind their endeavors.
‘I have to find out.’
The company was as busy as ever. Maybe even more so than before.
“Uriel Diablo-nim, welcome to the Dark Company. This is the first time receiving your visit aside from the emergency auction that day. I take it that our product must have been satisfying.”
A dark merchant wearing a silver crown approached. He must also know that I had taken the egg of ‘Igneel’ and ‘Etaqua’. Since I hadn’t gone to return it I must have seen the product, and having seen the product I couldn’t have been anything but satisfied.
It seems that to them, it must be a rather aggrieving incident.
“It is unusually busy today.”
“Hahah. A sharp observation. Actually we’ve discovered a new ‘race’. Owing to that the merchants are moving busily.”
A new race. It was much too timely an occurrence to be passed off as coincidence.
“Oh? Then an assessment of the race should be under way right now?”
Laila asked out of interest, and at that the dark mechant nodded his head.
“We are experimenting with their various limits. To see whether they are truly suitable to show to the esteemed lords, or so worthless that they should be disposed of.”
Laila looked at me brightly.
“My Lord. The discovery of a race is no common occurrence. It does not hurt to take a look at least. If we happen to discover a ‘pearl’, we should be able to buy it on the spot.”
“The first round of bidding is between the merchants, so you may participate with the same rights.”
The dark merchant added a comment of his own.
There were subdivisions among the dark merchants as well. It appeared that they even individually carried out their buying and selling. It must be that the merchants carry out auctions among themselves, and the merchant winning the auction would then sell their merchandise to the demon lords or other customers through various methods.
“Lead the way.”
I spoke heavily.
Screams resounded in a confined place resembling a cage. An ‘auction’ was going on, while several dark merchants, who wore the helms of ordinary soldiers, kept the goods bound in chains.
Other dark merchants made up the participants of the auction; there were a good 50 of them. The dark merchant who lead me here explained what was going on.
“It is a race called Yaksha. They are an unusual folk that carry jewels within their hearts as they live. After dissecting one it turned out that even their internal organs are unusual. Mana is concentrated in the jewel, and all the organs move in accordance to that jewel. Something which isn’t even a heart, plays a role even greater than that of a heart…”
I listened through one ear and let it out through the other.
It was as I had predicted. The newly discovered race…was the Yaksha.
“The ability used differs depending on the jewel, and their physical abilities aren’t bad either, but the ‘jewel’ they carry have quite the use. There are magic gems which power golems, no? While there are indeed differences in level between Yakshas’, but among them there are some who possess jewels that can even substitute highest-grade magic gems. Isn’t that amazing?”
Amazing you ask?
Well it is amazing I admit. Magic gems were rare, and golems, which were powered by highest-grade magic gems, were easily classified as monsters of Lv8 and above, after all; though creating a suitable body was even more expensive, of course.
Besides that, it was a gruesome scene.
Inside a steel cage, there was a Yaksha lying down with their innards dissected and open to view. Behind that, there were about 40 Yaksha lined up. There were injuries all over their bodies, and there were even some who were still resisting.
“Untie this! Untie this and let us battle fair and square! You preta-like bastards!”
“Bastards less than the shit of black wagons!”
“Bastards like the lazy Alamoor!”
It was questionable whether they were cursing, but sure enough they were warriors. Even the merchants seemed to marvel at their ferocity.
“As you can see, because their tempers are extremely bad, opinions are leaning towards extracting the jewels. I think that correcting their tempers will be difficult, even by branding a slave’s seal on them. We’ve tried torturing them mentally, but it seems that they lack the very concept of a ‘nightmare’.”
Yaksha. They were warriors — revering martial prowess, abhorring weakness. They had failed because they tried to tame the beasts among beasts. But my eyes were fixed to one point. The one with his head quietly hung down, unlike the other Yaksha. A Yaksha with crimson hair. An azure flame was blazing from his head.
He was there.
Hwarang Gu! Chief of the Flame Lotus Division, and elder brother to Crimson Dragon Hwarin Gu. Although he was being quiet, his eyes were shining with light. Just like a wild animal. He had an air about him as if he would tear apart anything that comes near. From how I remembered him, he was rather mild for a Yaksha, but that must be his true appearance. But the strength of the azure flames were weak. Those bindings suppressed movement and mana.
“I shall participate in the auction.”
“You’ll have to compete with the other merchants. That’s the rule, you see. Will you be fine with that?”
I didn’t reply. A silent affirmation.
When I made my way closer, the attention of all the others focused on me.
“Why is he here?”
The merchants murmured among themselves, as if it were strange for me, a demon lord, to be in such a place. The Yaksha’s reactions were intense as well.
“Are you the boss of these black fellows? Come at me, why don’t you come at me!”
“Damn, if only I had a sword!”
Regarding the warrior skills that they learnt…fortunately, it seemed that they hadn’t managed to properly understand it. If they had been sold to someone and the existence of warrior skills were to spread, that would have been a headache as well.
“How far have you proceeded?”
“O-, overall the biddings has proceeded until 22,000 points.”
The auctioneer had broken out in a cold sweat. He was panicking at the sudden appearance of a demon lord.
I walked before him, and calmly crossed my arms.
“22,300. Anyone going higher?”
Following that, I shot a single look at the merchants. A very intense look.
Double release, click next chap:)