Into The Endgame
“Such a tragedy.”
“Uncouth, even. No—incompetent?”
“Ahaha, you guys are horrible. No. 564’s doing his best too, you know?”
Kehma’s gargoyles were being paid close attention to by the VIP room’s guests as they entered the estate from its windows. The exhausted succubi that had opened the windows to ventilate the smoke out were—for lack of a better term—out of luck.
“Hmm. It probably would have been best for No. 564 to not make a move when the stairs burnt? Haku, No. 6, what do you two think?”
“I believe he should have abandoned the estate immediately.”
“… I’m in agreement. Putting himself in that situation was checkmate… However, well, I can understand his feelings on not wanting to abandon his estate, it’s hard to put into words…”
The person in question making his move directly on Core No. 666 was not itself a mistake. It was just so unusual that anyone would break and burn a stairway like that.
Moving to fight Core No. 666 directly when she had turned his stairway into a bonfire was also a decisive judgement.
“At the very least, a 500 series being fought to a standstill by a 600 series alone was a shameful thing to see.”
Thinking back to when she was defeated by Rokuko and the others, albeit with restrictions, Haku averted her gaze. [Father] watched her do so with some amusement.
“That aside, doesn’t this kinda feel cut-and-dry at this point? What do you think, No. 6?”
“Likely. I don’t dislike seeing reversals, but this is a situation where No. 564 has been driven into a corner. He will find it extremely hard to win from here. I suppose all that’s left is how No. 666 and the rest decide to finish this. All he can do it bide time.”
“Alright, let’s try talking to Core No. 564 again, then. He seems to have settled down within his dungeon.”
“As you wish.”
His monitor connected with Core No. 564 immediately afterwards.
On the monitor was a scene of an angered Core No. 564 striking a succubus in the abdomen.
[Dammit… how did My Glorious Self arrive in this situation…! They are merely three 600 series!]
“Hmph. You seem to be in dire straits, No. 564.”
[! A-Apologies, No. 6-sama! You had to see something unsightly.]
“Did that succubus do something?”
[No? She’s simply here to be hit?]
Core No. 6’s expression didn’t shift due to the Demon King Faction’s exploitation of the weak as the natural order of things, but Haku, who’d also seen it, frowned.
That succubus had appeared delighted at being hit. It reminded her of an unpleasant person.
“So what will you be doing next?”
[Sir! The tables will be turned on them, that is certain. Although they have already progressed to the third floor, the monsters themselves are trifling. It is undoubtedly certain that they will be unable to proceed beyond the sixth floor and its elites, the Four Kings! Even before then, My Glorious Self has erected a [Gate of Wisdom] on the fourth floor. They will never break through it!]
“Hoh. So you’ve prepared a sufficient level of monsters and riddles?”
[Of course! Look at these ten floors, they will not set claw or hoof any further. If they attempt to force their way through in desperation, all My Glorious Self must do is calmly go out on the counterattack!]
He really believes it will go that smoothly?
Core No. 6 thought to himself.
Game set and match.
Haku thought to herself.
[Father] simply smiled.
“… Do not disappoint me further.”
[…! Ha, haha! Victory is certain!]
Although Core No. 6 already intended to abandon the core, he had cut communications himself after speaking.
“… What did you mean by that [Do not disappoint me further]?”
“Nothing. He’s a failure.”
“He’s already been invaded that far, so…”
Just then, [Father] spoke up, a smile still playing at his lips.
“So, Haku. How long do you think it’ll take for Kehma to make it past No. 564’s [Gate of Wisdom] and those [Four Kings]?”
“Tomorrow at the latest, Otou-sama.”
“Hohoh. What grounds do you have for that confidence of yours?”
“First, not even half a day has passed so far. Second, as No. 564 has abandoned his estate above-ground, they can concentrate solely on capturing the underground floors. Third, assuming the Four Kings are not at least as strong as No. 564 himself, they will be unable to stop No. 666. Finally, Kehma-san himself is strong and has likely taken countermeasures.”
“What about the [Gate of Wisdom]? It’s something No. 564 himself is proud of.”
“All they have to do to pass that is answer a question… I fail to believe that he could outsmart Kehma-san.”
The reason he prided his [Gate of Wisdom] was that his floors didn’t seem to be too particularly wide.
Recalling something unpleasant, Haku quietly closed her eyes before pressing against her forehead with her hand.
“I guess we can just watch them step into the endgame, then?”
“I suppose so. If it proceeds smoothly, it should happen before the day is out. Kehma-san has concluded all of his Dungeon Battles within a single day thus far, after all.”
In retrospect, Kehma winning all of them was fairly—no, very unusual.
According to Kehma himself, he’d supposedly had a rematch against Ontentoo at some point and lost, saying that he stood no chance and was in no way undefeatable. So far as Haku was concerned, though, that was very much up to suspect. She couldn’t help but suspect that he’d worked together with Core No. 112 to dash his undefeated record.
“Still though, Haku. Setting aside that Master finishing this in a day, I don’t think he could even fight for a day?”
“Kehma-san is human, after all. He needs to rest.”
“Looking at it another way, if this drags out until that Master has to rest, it might just be an upset victory.”
“It won’t be.”
Even for when Kehma rests, Rokuko, Core No. 629, as well as Core No. 666 were there.
On the subject of three Dungeon Cores, she thought back to the previous year’s Dragon King Team Dungeon Battle , Rokuko had been receiving Kehma’s education. She would not lose to Core No. 564.
“It won’t be.”
“You don’t have to say it twice. ”
“In that case, I shall appreciate the way No. 564 will lose.”
“I will as well.”
Saying that, Core No. 6 sat back into the sofa.
Haku took some cream soda she’d placed in her [Storage].
“Haku? That thing you’re eating… drinking? It looks delicious. What is it?”
“Oh? You don’t know, Otou-sama? It is called cream soda. Kehma-san gave it to me in repayment for lending him the hero… Would you like one?”
“Couldn’t you make it yourself, Otou-sama? You could have as much as you wanted.”
“But then there’d be no point. Right, Haku?”
“Oh well, then. How about I lend you one of mine, Otou-sama?”
She didn’t really know what he was talking about, but [Father], tasting the cream soda, looked as if he found it delicious.
Core No. 6 seemed envious, but neither of them let him have a taste.