The Forsaken Hero — Chapter 22

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Enslavement and Two Demons

『奴隷化と二の魔族』

Part 3

 

Having added Tamaki as a party member and done with getting a bit of my revenge, we shifted back to focusing on conquering the dungeon, our original purpose for going here.

The reason I’d come here was to add new demons to my group.

When I’d heard what Leadred had to say a while back, I understood the fact that I am a hero.

Just not one with much integrity.

I also came to understand that she lost to Hero Terias and was sealed in that dungeon. Some time passed since then and that seal was undone by a single woman.

At that time, she was given a prophecy.

—Our Hero will, one day, come to us. If you follow that person, demons will certainly obtain their glory.

She’d been waiting there forever since.

She was told that the holder of Revenge of the Grudgebearer would be their hero.

Back to the topic at hand, I was thinking about how the other dungeons might have had other demons who would work as my followers similar to Leadred.

If so, capturing the nearest dungeon was the most obvious path to take.

I want to gather as many powerful people as I can. They probably wouldn’t have been killed off, even in places like this.

Monster Houses aren’t even threats to us anymore, they’re actually welcomed.

I mean, Monster Houses are really great experience farms.

“Tamaki, give your status a look.”

“S-Sure.”

“… Yui? As Daichi’s slave, you need to be more polite to him.”

“A-Alright, Shuri—I get it, so can you please stop it with that face? It’s scary!”

That back and forth playing out, Tamaki and I both opened our statuses to look at.

 

Katsuragi Daichi
Job: Hero Lv. 68
Stamina: 4250
Mana: 5600 → 4100
Strength: 4900
Resistance: 4500
Dexterity: 2900
Special Abilities:

  • [Heart of Steel] Double resistance value during combat. Prevents poison, paralysis, hypnosis, and mental corruption 1/3 of the time.
  • [Indomitable Mentality] Mana cannot go below 100.
  • [Absolute Command] Appears upon those revived by the Lich King being lower leveled. Any order the slave receives will be followed through with until given authorization to stop.
  • [Magus of Slaughter] Damage inflicted upon enemies will also damage others of the same species within a 10 meter radius.
  • [Brutal Mind] After killing three members of the same species, attacks gain a paralytic poison effect against that species.
  • [Incantation Omission] Can omit the necessary incantation when invoking a magic. However, mana consumption increases to 150%.
  • [Lich King] Able to form contracts with creatures that have died, reviving them and bending them to your will. Every other time the user dies, gain a slot.
  • Current: 0 Open Slots

Unique Abilities:

  • [Revenge of the Grudgebearer] No matter how many times you die, gather strength from the abyss of death and resurrect.
  • Current: 7 Deaths

 

Tamaki Yui
Job: Hero Lv. 28
Stamina: 720
Mana: 1780
Strength: 1100
Resistance: 840
Dexterity: 350
Special Abilities:

  • [Frost Witch] Increase the effectiveness of ice magic by one rank. Cannot surpass Divine Rank.
  • [Incantation Omission] Can omit the necessary incantation when invoking a magic. However, mana consumption increases to 150%.

Special Condition:

  • [High-Grade Slave] Master: Katsuragi Daichi. Any attack against your master, Katsuragi Daichi, is blocked. Forced obedience until released.

 

“Woah, so weak.”

Leadred, thanks for your honesty. It’s true that comparing only her numerical values to ours, she won’t be useful during one of our actual fights.

“At least we could use you as a shield…”

“So cruel!?”

“I mean, you are a slave. It’s your role to defend me, your master.”

“Aww… Th-That is true… it is, but…!”

“So, Tamaki. Defend Shuri with your life. I’ll kill you if you let her die.”

“Not you!? But okay—… I understand!”

Tamaki, seemingly motivated by the prospect of protecting Shuri instead of me, went over to her in smiles.

… Well, I’ll be killing her at least once no matter what happens though.

“So, Hero. What are we going to do now? Raise her level?”

“There’s no reason for us to go that far, I’ll just bring her back from death if she dies. We’ll keep going down, no need to stop.”

“Alright. Should we head off now then?”

We walked in a line with Leadred in the lead since she’s the strongest among us.

Our goal for right now is to make it to the fortieth floor, check things out, and make our plans for what happens next based on what we see.

Our enemies’ strength hadn’t changed this entire time.

If forced, I might say their stats went up a bit, but barely at that.

“Hmm… we’ll make it to the fortieth floor easily if things keep up like this.”

“Right? The only thing that’ll take time is finding the stairs down, I don’t think the fights themselves will be hard.”

“With you saying that, Leadred, I’m a bit relieved.”

“It feels weird for it to be this easy.”

“It’s all thanks to Daichi. Those filthy heroes that always treated Daichi like that had no ability to judge character.”

Err, Shuri. You were originally on that filthy hero side too though?

“At any rate, just try to not relax too much. You have to get a hold of yourself at times like this.”

I urged the two girls making a racket behind me to pay attention.

As predicted by Leadred, we later made it to the the fortieth floor’s staircase room without any difficulty.

 

 

Floors forty-one to fifty-nine went without anything really happening.

Leadred and Shuri gained about five hundred to each of their stats. Tamaki got over twenty-five hundred mana, but her other statuses didn’t improve much at all. She was different from Shuri, who grew evenly. Perhaps she was a specialized type?

No one got any new Special Abilities, though now they’d both reached the level of top-class adventurers.

We, who’d all thought it would be smooth sailing the entire way stumbling at the sixtieth floor’s staircase room. We’re even in a heated battle right now.

“Damn this thing! It’s getting on my nerves!”

The one to curse was Leadred.

I understood how she felt.

“The fcker won’t stop jiggling…! Magic doesn’t work on it either, you’re fcking kidding me!”

Leadred attacked the small, hostile monster. However, it sidestepped to the right and used its momentum to headbutt her side.

It had a soft, jelly-like body so it didn’t do any damage to Leadred, but only in the physical sense.

“Tch! Poison!?”

Leadred leapt away from it. Having been on standby, Shuri immediately began treating her with light-attributed healing magic.

In other words, Tamaki and I were the only ones left to fight it.

“Wh-What the heck is with this thing…”

I kept my sights on the monster, a poison slime—I decided to call it that since Leadred didn’t know its name either.

We were confident in being able to defeat it when we opened the door and saw it by itself in the center of the room.

It was no exaggeration to say that we thought it’d be an instant kill. But when we went to attack, something strange happened.

It reacted at speeds so fast that it must have a ludicrous dexterity value. We couldn’t pin it down with magic either. Just brushing against its body was enough to get afflicted by a top-grade Deadly Poison status condition.

This guy’s absolutely definitely not any ordinary slime.

The slimes I know of are no where near this strong.

I even died once. I got hit by a surprise attack, but it was half on purpose.

The reason being that I’m relatively weak against poison and I wanted to strengthen myself towards the boss fight.

I was able to endure it by thinking of it as protecting Shuri and the others.

Fortunately, Shuri was able to use healing magic enough to get rid of the poison, but it was a fact that we couldn’t just carelessly charge in.

Was its aim to drain our stamina and mana?

It had already been an hour since we started the fight.

If so, its strategy was working brilliantly.

“Hey Katsuragi! Haven’t you thought up some plan!?”

Tamaki yelled out with a complaint. Shut up and find one yourself!

And for you to yell that out so loud… see? Now it’s locked on to you.

“Ah—hey, time out! Time out!”

Unable to put up a fight, Tamaki got tackled by the slime.

Naturally, she was afflicted by the Deadly Poison status condition.

However, I thought of something. A way to make it through this.

Tamaki would be needed for it. I ran over to where she collapsed and drove away the slime before shaking her shoulders.

“Geh… Katsuragi…”

“You alright, Tamaki?”

“Its attacks are nothing, but that poison is a bitch…”

“One sec, I’m going to check something.”

I brought up the status screen and saw that Deadly Poison was appended on to Tamaki’s status conditions.

It stated that its effect would decrease the person’s stamina value by one hundred per minute and that if it hit zero because of the effect, the person would die.

In other words, Tamaki only had nine minutes left. I’ll have to deal with it quickly.

I sat her up and grabbed her by the nape of her neck.

“Hey—! What are you doing to a sick person!?”

“I’m going to use you to stop it from moving! You’ll be doing a suicide attack in a moment and it’ll definitely try tackling you again. Use that moment to catch it! Okay!?”

“Of course not! Wait, you’re using me as a shield, aren’t you!?”

“Give it up! Repent for everything you did to me till now!”

“No way! Let go of me!”

Tamaki tried to get out of my grasp. Oh come on, what a troublesome woman!

When I put my empty hand over her eyes, she stopped resisting.

“What’re you doing!? I can’t see! It’s dark and scary!!”

“If you don’t do what I say, I’m going to throw you at it!”

“I’ll do it, just let go of me!”

“So you want to become my shield!?”

“I want to be Master’s shield!”

“Good! Then go, Shield!”

“Dammit! Using me like a shield either way! Whatever, I’ll do it!”

Tamaki prepared herself and answered with a grin despite her tears and approached the slime.

Sure enough, it just hit her back with a headbutt.

“Shield! Capture it!”

“Understood, Master! … Gufuh—!”

Shield timed it well and succeeded in capturing the slime in an embrace against her stomach.

She then finished it off a zero distance ice-type magic and held it up overhead.

“I did it! I did it, Master!”

“You did. Now for your reward. Give it to me and head to Shuri for treatment.”

“Thank you. I won’t forget your kindness. I’ll definitely repay it…!”

Even with her saying that with gritted teeth, she didn’t feel threatening at all.

Irritated, I grabbed her arms and pinned them behind her back, taking away her freedom one more time.

It went without saying that the woman was overly afraid and screamed.

“What’re you doing!?”

Forgetting the fact that she’s my slave, Tamaki flared up.

“Did you forget that you’re just a tool to me? Stop complaining.”

“B-But shouldn’t you at least give me a minimum level of respect?”

“For me, this is the minimum level.”

“Huh!? The heck!”

After defeating that powerful enemy growing confident, Tamaki seemed to not understand her position.

The lighthearted back and forths we’d been having was probably the cause.

Tamaki’s statuses were low, so we didn’t think we could make use of her except like this. Rather, you could even say this was her main role.

Even so…

Judging by her attitude, she’s not reflecting on anything.

Her rebelling like this is annoying. I died a bit ago, so I gained a new slot.

I guess it wouldn’t hurt making her a proper slave before we get to the final floor.

Yeah, let’s do that. Maybe even make it hurt a bit.

“Tamaki.”

“What?”

“Could you die?”

“… Eh?”

Standing behind her, Leadred stabbed her war-sword through Tamaki’s left breast.

“… H—… uh…?”

Devil Flame.”

Leadred burned Tamaki’s face with her flames to make sure she’d die.

“Leadred. Don’t kill her so fast. You need to miss her vitals on purpose.”

“Oh, I get it.”

Tamaki’s hands were convulsing.

I could tell what she was feeling.

The heat, the pain, the agony.

Those three were definitely dominating her thoughts. Once a few moments pass, her nerves would stop working right and the pain would lessen, but that would just make her fear death all the more.

I’m a veteran when it comes to dying.

I know most of the things a person would feel and think as they die.

“She’s not breathing anymore… You should hurry up an enslave her. It’s better to do with a fresh corpse.”

“Yeah.”

Her expression was distorted by pain. Her eyes were burnt and filthy snot ran down her face.

I felt a bit better seeing her like that.

Laying Tamaki down on the floor, I held her hand up and began enslaving her.

“I shall bestow you with new life, a second life. Make a pact with me and become my servant. Binding Resurrection.”

Tamaki’s body began restoring itself.

The wound through her chest closed, her charring disappeared, and the various parts of her face returned to how they’d been.

With that, Tamaki’s enslavement was complete. She’d wake up after a while. I’ll never get tired of the way they react after waking back up.

Tamaki couldn’t escape any more.

“… Daichi.”

Shuri had grown bored while I was looking over Tamaki and patted her lap.

I don’t think there’s a man alive that could turn down an invitation like that.

“Leadred. Let’s take a break. I’m going to take a short trip to dreamland, so please watch over Tamaki for me.”

“And if she tries to escape?”

“Killing her would be a waste, so just keep her from wanting to attack with Devilish Aura or something. If she doesn’t do what you want, feel free to break a bone or two.”

“Understood. Heal yourself to your heart’s content.”

Leadred waved her hand. She was already watching over Tamaki.

… I think she just didn’t want to see us flirting, but that might’ve been my imagination.

“So, Shuri. I’ll be taking your offer.”

“I don’t mind, please feel free for however long you want. I enjoy watching you as you sleep.”

As Shuri was who said that, I couldn’t just laugh it off as a joke.

But I wonder why I feel so comfortable being spoiled by her?

I seriously can’t tell which one of us is the master, really.

Relaxing completely and thoroughly enjoying the elastic feeling against my head, fell into a deep sleep.

 

◆ ◆ ◆

  

After each of us took turns sleeping for a few hours to recover our mana, we restarted our dungeon conquering.

Leadred, Shuri, and I were talking about the slime we’d fought.

Tamaki was having to take care of the monsters by herself. By the way, I used Absolute Command on her so that she couldn’t say even a single word.

After coming back as a slave, Tamaki kept on yelling and showering me with abuses. Persistently at that.

I was getting fed up with it so I decided to punish her by hunting monsters solo. I even had Shuri and Leadred land the killing blows with magic so that her level wouldn’t increase.

Tamaki would indirectly get some experience if I killed them, after all.

“Don’t you think that our levels jumped from that slime earlier?”

“Yeah. I could tell from that fight that compared to you two, I’m still powerless though…”

“I was surprised too. It was the third time I’d ever not been able to cut something with my sword. But thanks to that, I did get an idea for who the dungeon’s guardian is.”

Proud, Leadred smiled.

“Really!?”

“Yeah. That monster used poison and has a soft body. They’re perfect measures against my attacks. There’s only one person that could do that… Just… haah…”

Her smile changed into a fed up expression in an instant.

“What’s wrong?”

“That guy’s really annoying. I don’t think we’ll be able to avoid a fight with him.”

“Eh, seriously?”

Honestly, I thought that we’d be able to have Leadred, who was also a demon, persuade him for us. I’d prefer it if we were able to settle it by talking.

However, unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be able to go ahead with that.

“Seriously. He won’t listen to what you say unless he decides you’re worthy to serve.”

“Is that so…”

“But then couldn’t Daichi use his power to enslave him?”

“Either way, we’d have to kill him first. More importantly though, I don’t have any slots open.”

Although I could release Tamaki in exchange for gaining the demon who was overwhelmingly stronger, having more pawns for me to control would be even better.

I died twice in the battle against Leadred, so unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that I’ll die at least one more time. Call it a hunch.

“Moreover, his strength is comparable to mine.”

“Woah… What is the demon’s name?”

Hearing Shuri’s question, Leadred waited a moment to drag it out before responding.

“Fantra Angas. Back then, he was a tactician and was declared as the strongest demon in ice-type magic.”

 

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