17-45. Demon God's Castle
※ A bit longer than usual to make up for the break last week.
Satou here. A game freak friend of mine told me last bosses not simply being strong is what makes Computer RPGs different.
When he almost got me to believe him, I recalled how boss characters being unbeatable without the correct strategy had always been popular since the days of Yamata-no-Orochi, and it snapped me out of his trick. I admit it's a pretty apt gimmick for RPGs though.
"I guess they're not sending any more?"
After defeating three gigantic demons and their mist disappeared, the demon god's castle stopped sending more reinforcement.
"Yeah, now's our chance."
I can't exactly use Meteor Shower or anti-god magic to erase the entire castle whole since there should be other purple little girls inside.
The best action to take here is me infiltrating it on my own.
"You're not thinking of going alone, are you Master?"
"No you won't, Ichirou-nii."
Arisa and Hikaru read my mind and gave a warning.
"We're fully aware just how strong master is, but you might still fall behind Demon God if you get yourself exhausted over a series of battle."
I wonder about that?
I feel like the me now can beat even a demon lord with one punch like some certain bald hero.
"Besides, who knows if Master's level up might be part of Demon God's scheme."
No no, I don't think so.
"Geez! Did you forget already?"
"Remember how he was trying to absorb you, Ichirou-nii?"
"Now that you mention it--"
Oh yeah, that did happen.
There were no more news after that one time, and the purple little girl here said Demon God had attained perfect form using the dummy those gods prepared, so all that stuff had completely slipped out of my mind.
"Milord's attained perfect form, you know?"
"But that doesn't mean he won't try to absorb more, does it?"
Arisa responded to the purple little girl.
The little girl who had been keeping silent up until now couldn't help but to join in the conversation since it involved Demon God.
"We'd like you be at your best if you really had to purify Demon God's [Impurities], Ichirou-nii."
I felt the nuance, "Please don't go if you could" from Hikaru's words.
"--I got it."
I gave in to the pressing Hikaru and Arisa.
Thanks to my level ups, I have full confidence in my chance against Demon God, but I'm not going to deny the very small possibility of me losing due to exhaustion.
Besides, the girls now should be able to easily beat the heck out greater demons, and even put up a good fight against Unique Skill-ed greater demons and demon lords.
"I'll be counting on you girls."
"That's what I'd like to hear!"
Arisa snapped her fingers and urged everyone to take their seats.
"Our target is Demon God's castle inner part! We got no time to engage in petty combats! Charge forward to where Demon God's at!"
A very Arisa-like daring strategy.
It's obvious where since the tallest building has very thick miasma on the same level of Black Sludge gushing out of it.
"Yes Arisa. Spaceship's main engine at full throttle so I report."
"Zena-tan, bring the small side ships' main engines at full throttle too!"
"Affirmative! Main engines, full throttle!"
"Garuda, push forward."
The spaceship flies toward the center of Demon God's castle at a velocity not even inertia control unit could fully cancel.
"Deploying 『Paladin Domain』 so I declare."
With warnings from Tama and Mia's Sanctuary Guard, Nana deployed multifold barriers.
Laser beams and missiles hit the barrier created by [Paladin Domain], scattering them into sparks and explosions.
A shock that exceeds Inertia Control's processing assaults our seats every time sparks fly.
Even so, the spaceship's barrier powered up by Unique Skills hold steadfast, it can defend against thousands of these attacks no sweat.
"T-this is bad."
The once sporadic bombardments are getting more intense by the minute.
Demon God's castle itself isn't equipped with many artillery, but there's quite a lot of cannon-type and beam-type demons prowling out there.
"I-it's so intense."
The amount of those demons exceeds hundreds, thus Nana's decided not to block with Paladin Domain but to skillfully evade or parry with Phalanxes.
Lulu helps with shooting the enemies down, princess Sistina and her floating gun fort golem units block the barrage of fire, and magical shields created by Hikaru's force magic along with Arisa's space magic assist Nana taking evasive maneuver.
They told me to preserve my power, but a little help won't hurt, right?
I wrap our spaceship in space magic <<Physical Reflector>> to reflect enemy's attacks.
Unfortunately, the reflected physical bullets didn't reach back to their shooters, but the beam ones did, killing many beam demons at a stretch.
"Shield Reflector, the real deal! My magic could barely do that on a single point, so this is quite a sight!"
Arisa got into high spirits at the spectacle.
It's pretty convenient for sure, but adjusting it to follow our large spaceship is a pain, so I'm switching to Divine Dancing Armor.
But it can only cover limited areas and is incapable of dealing with attacks that snipe through gaps.
The defensive power doesn't have to be as high as the original, so I'm gonna make some adjustment to the code here and there--done.
"Master, we're suffering no more damage so I report."
"I've wrapped our ship in a slightly adjusted Divine Dancing Armor. Like this--"
I put Pochi in the new magic--Divine Radiant Armor.
"Pochi is shining like platinum nodesu!"
The original Divine Dancing Armor is purple colored because it's Demon God's personal color, but my version is platinum colored due to the code modification I did to it.
Probably because it's deployed over her golden armor and the added beam reflection function.
"We can do this! Master, can we launch attack out from this side?"
"So long as it's not a forbidden spell or anti-god magic."
Unfortunately, it's not versatile enough to let anti-god magic and forbidden spells to slip through.
"That's good enough! We can escort Master quite deep inside with this!"
Arisa declared with a pumped fist.
Less barrages are assaulting us now after flying all over the place above the castle.
"Think it's a good time to charge in?"
"Yes, Master. It's possible to make a forced landing if we switch our destination to this point, so I report."
Nana drew a clear circle in a corner of Demon God's castle displayed on the monitor.
The spot looks like a giant hanging garden.
We're still getting bombarded left and right, but it should be fine now that we've got Divine Radiant Armor.
"Alright, let's get landing on that short-staffed looking spot."
"Yes, Master, after burner at full throttle so I report!"
The mechanism is actually unlike that of a jet plane's afterburner, but since it holds ultimately the same meaning, I choose to keep silent.
Arisa screamed out loud as our ship made its way through a rain of cannonballs.
Our pilot, Nana's heart rate is increasing as well.
Liza who's next to me brought forth courage in everyone's heart with her Unique Skill.
"Pochi and co. have become the wind nodesuyo!"
Tama and Pochi who've got their courage boosted are twirling around in front of a monitor showing the approaching cannonballs.
This skill could end up mass producing berserkers with just a slight error.
The ship is approaching fast toward the barrier protecting Demon God's castle.
"--Brace for impact! 3,2,1, impact!"
With a loud boom, the ship's naval ram and the barrier clashed, sending sparks everywhere.
Looks like Demon God Castle's barrier is made of a similar mechanism as Divine Dancing Armor.
"Now's the time for that line! Fight barriers with--"
"Decoupling the naval ram, activating Dragon Fang Pile Bunker."
Arisa who was about to shout out a parody was interrupted by Zena-san.
The pile bunker itself is not made of Dragon Fang in entirety, there's simply a coat of Dragon Fang powder over it. I imitated the technique used on Weasel Empire's white swords.
"It came off~"
"It broke off nodesu!"
And yet the authority of Dragon Fangs, [Pierce All], worked on the barrier, piercing and breaking it off.
"Warning! Miasma density is 128 times higher than outside level!"
"Detecting abnormality on Sacred Stone Furnace. The output is decreasing."
"Miasma Barrier is overloaded! We're in a pinch! It's gonna fail to neutralize the miasma at this rate. That's really really bad! It's true!"
"Satou-sama, incoming high density cannonballs and giant rockets!"
Whoa, we're in a pinch.
"O-oh no! What should we do Master!"
"It's all right."
--Miasma Barriers, multiple deployment.
"Miasma density decreasing. Lowered to four times."
"Yes, permeating [Saint Prey] onto Miasma Barriers."
"Sacred Stone Furnace's output is still decreasing. The ship and propulsion system will stop functioning at the rate it's going."
"Unable to take evasive action so I report. All hands to brace for emergency landing so I report."
"Fine then, I'll use Over Boost here and teleport us away!"
"It's okay, no need for that."
Our destination is in a clear view from here.
I made our space ship land at our destination.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"We ended up getting saved by Master's cheat after all."
"That's not true."
Thanks to everyone's effort, I have barely done anything.
"This place is so quiet..."
The spaceship's external monitor shows us a well cared garden with rose-like flowers growing in it.
"Master, we're not getting bombarded anymore so I report."
"Satou-san, the Sacred Stone Furnace's state is still getting worse. It's still enough to supply 『Miasma Barrier』 and the ship's circuitry, however we don't have enough power to restart the ship."
"We are getting warnings from the spaceship's main body as well. Maintenance golems have been dispatched, however the repair is expected to require from a half to two hour time."
The girls reported our ship's condition.
"Responses on the radar. Dots that appear to be demons are drawing near from all directions."
Lots of demons, but they're all of lesser demons.
"Satou-sama, please leave this spot to us Silver members and proceed ahead toward Demon God."
Princess Sistina made that suggestion as a representative of Silver members.
"It will be fine desuwa! We shall annihilate anything that comes close to our ship."
"I'll do my best too!"
"It's just Karina-sama and Zena-san said. Please entrust this ship to us."
"We will finish the repair by the time Satou-sama and the others return."
"Master Satou, leave the ship to me while Nana's gone."
Lady Karina, Zena-san, Sera, princess Sistina and Core two spoke.
I could get them with Unit Arrangement if push comes to shove anyway, and the inside of this ship is of course safer with how dense the miasma outside.
"All right then. But make sure to prioritize your safety more than the ship's repair."
I give a detailed instruction to Core Two to push the emergency button right away if they're thrust into a situation beyond their hands. I'm sure she'd push it without any hesitation.
I put [Miasma Barrier] and [Divine Radiant Armor] up once again and went out of the ship along with the golden members and Hikaru.
Rose monsters and gardener demons carrying scissors blocked our way in the hanging garden.
"I'm not actually against this style. But now's not a good time to deal with you."
Arisa mowed them down with [Dimensional Slash].
"Let's run through them!"
The sparkling beastkin girls blasted our opponent's vanguard units.
Lulu's magic guns, and swarms of small sylphs Mia's spirit magic summoned expanded a passage the beastkin girls opened, then Hikaru's force magic and Arisa's space magic maintained that passage.
"Irregular, you see, there's a gate over there."
The purple little girl I'm piggybacking told me.
There's a gate leading deeper into the castle in the corner of the hanging garden's rose garden.
There's two gatekeeper demons in front of the gate.
"Pochi will get the left one nodesuyo!"
Liza defeated the right demon with her dragon spear, while Pochi cut the left one in half.
A demon who was camouflaging as a gate's decoration ambushed Pochi from above.
Pochi only stared up, not getting ready to engage.
"Pochi, above you!"
"It's okay nanodesu."
Conforming with Pochi's confident word, the demon stopped moving mid air.
No, looking closer, the demon has been bound by thin pink threads.
"Nin nin~, cotton candy no jutsu~?"
Tama's strummed a string of the pink thread with her finger, then the demon got diced up by the threads before disappearing into black mist.
"She's like a hitman in period drama."
Pochi and Liza pushed the gate open while Arisa was making her quip.
Beyond the door is an atrium with a great many spiral staircases inside and a nightmare-inducing number of demons crawling in it.
"Arisa-chan, the inside seems choke full of enemies."
"I gotcha. Let's blow 'em all away in one go!"
"Yup, you bet!"
Arisa's anti-demon lord [Lesser Mythology Down] and Hikaru's [Mythology Extinction] totally annihilated the demons inside.
"--Uuuu. Wonder if the demons here give easy level ups or something?"
"Un, looks to be it. My level went up too."
"Eeh? Hikaru-tan, you a familiar now too?"
"Nope, doesn't look like I am, but my level has gone up to 100."
If monsters give more experience points than ordinary animals, then it seems Netherworld's demons give more exp than ordinary monsters. Considering the extremity of my level up, that sounds very likely.
I have no idea how Hikaru managed to break the limit though.
"Then, does that mean we may be able to break through our limit as well?"
"Tama hanging on it~?"
"Pochi too, Pochi's hanging on it too nodesuyo!"
"Nn, serious. ■■■■■■■..."
The beastkin girls got fired up, Mia started Garuda summoning spell.
"Master, enemy reinforcement so I report."
The thought of letting them level up here crossed my mind for a second, but then I recalled we were right in enemy's territory and brushed away the idea.
"Where's the Demon God at?"
"Erm... That one! The spiral staircase with a ribbon wrapped on it!"
The purple little girl pointed at a spiral staircase after looking around for a bit.
Looks like the spiral staircase for these little girls' use has a ribbon wrapped around it to prevent them from getting lost.
We routed all the demons that emerged out in swarms, and headed deeper inside Demon God's castle while occasionally clashing with Shadow Guards, Unique Skill-ed greater demons and apostles along the way.
"Demon Generals are on a whole other level, I heard milord saying that."
We encountered powerful foes that surpass demon lords just a little further from Demon God's living room.
In addition to Generals, the endlessly spawning Demon Avengers and the strike-resistant Shadow Guards are giving the girls a tough time.
"Hold it! Now that we've come this far, Ichirou-nii should save your strength until the end."
Hikaru stopped me just as I brought sheathed Divine Sword out of Storage and took a step forward.
"She's right, Master!"
Arisa spoke while routing more Demon Avengers with anti-god magic.
"Leave this spot to us, you go on ahead!"
Arisa looks so cool with explosions as a backdrop.
This little girl is as gallant as ever.
"Kwuuuu. I've always wanted to say that line at least once in my life!"
"No fair, Arisa-chan! I wanted to say that line too!"
Arisa expresses her delight with her whole body, while Hikaru looks seriously dejected in contrast.
These girls are on their pace even during this mayhem.
"Got it. Take care of this spot. Make absolutely sure to stay safe, you hear me."
After telling them that, I slipped past the door the Generals are protecting with Unit Arrangement.
『Invaders coming this far, what are those generals doing de aru.』
『Indeed de aru, for us Kings to have to take the matter into our hands, preposterous.』
Four giant demons dressed like the kings drawn on trump card got off their thrones.
Didn't know there were other kings beside demon lords.
"Isn't this Demon God's living room?"
"Un, these kings are usually on other floors, you know?"
『There you are, traitor de aruka!』
『Instating ourselves on this floor to protect Demon God-sama was the correct decision de aru.』
These demons the purple little girl referred as kings are all level 350 each. They possess combat-oriented Unique Skills like Generals, and equipped with mantles and armors made from the same material as Shadow Guards.
The me before level up would have a hard time against them.
『『『『Come at us de aru, Irregular.』』』』
The kings roared all together.
"I'll take you up on it--"
I changed my title to [God Slayer], rushed below a King faster than Ground Shrink, and slashed up to its head faster than Flash Drive.
The King split in half and vanished into black mist before getting sucked into Divine Sword.
Other kings sounded shocked all together.
>Skill [Unimpeded] Acquired.
>Title [King of Demons Slayer] Acquired.
Whoa, looks like I got the higher version of Ground Shrink and Flash Drive skills.
Since I got practically inexhaustible skill points anyway, I maxed out the skill and activated it.
I put away the Divine Sword and walked toward Demon God's living room.
"Irregular, there's still kings here, you know?"
"No worries. It's already a check mate."
I spoke to the purple little girl I held under my arm.
『『『Think you've won after beating one of us?!』』』
The remaining kings were enraged and took a step forward.
A moment later, all three Kings got split in half before disappearing.
I had tested Unimpeded on them earlier before I walked.
I guess Arisa and Hikaru would have said, "You're already dead", here?
We stepped into Demon God's living room while I was recalling a signature phrase from a popular manga.
"This is some dense miasma."
Very thick miasma--no, I sense Divinity, this must be Impurities.
I would have been swallowed in these Impurities had god Karion didn't teach me [Miasma Barrier].
I proceed toward Demon God's living room while letting Divine Sword suck the endless miasma in the vicinity. The living room is not so much a room as a space many times larger than the National Stadium.
"--There he is."
I found Demon God beyond several pillars decorating the living room.
He's sitting on his throne listlessly, slightly apart from him is a group of unmoving purple little girls lying on the floor.
Weirdly enough, there's no Impurities around those purple little girls.
It appears the rainbow-colored pearl scythe floating in the middle of those little girls is protecting them.
Demon God raised his face as he noticed me approaching.
His personal color, purple, is turning into jet black as the Impurities encroach him more. The same color as [Demon God's Offshoots] that raided Shiga Kingdom.
His eyes are focused on me.
"That damn Dragon God, went and summoned another Suzuki Ichirou huh..."
Even opening his mouth seemed bothersome to him due to the encroachment.
I was anticipating the worst possible situation where it turned into a battle right away, but it seems like we can end this peacefully.
"However, I'm already in my perfect form. You are unneeded."
"I'm fine with being unneeded. I never agreed to fuse with you anyway."
I'm cool with one less danger to mind about.
"You look like you're in pain. Let me help clear those Impurities away."
"Hmph, your gesture is uncalled for. I can handle this much on my own without a help from an imperfect one."
A smile painted in even more insanity than before glared at me.
He looks to be overdoing it, his black scaled face is full of sweat.
"Sorry, but it's an order from gods. I'll have to purify those [Impurities] even if I have to force my way."
I believe the me now can do it.
Knowing this wouldn't end amicably, I sent away the purple little girl on my shoulder toward the other little girls using short Warp.
The moment Demon God's eyes gleamed purple, my body felt heavy all of a sudden.
The sense of almightiness in my body has gone, replaced by what feels like a sickly unresponsive body.
"How does it feel to lose your transient power."
I grasped the meaning behind Demon God's word from AR readings' displayed status.
My level has gone back to 1. All of my skills and magic list have disappeared, back to initial state.
"What is so surprising? You're looking at the very person who set up the world's Level System."
Demon God holds out his hand with a look of superiority on his face.
"Gnash on your powerlessness--die."
A dark purple flash of light was the last thing I saw before my consciousness was reaped.
※Next time [Satou Dies] is planned for 1/5