Gate of Wisdom and the Four Kings
There were a good number of obstacles I couldn’t pass through with my favored flooding en masse dungeon capturing tactic.
One among them was the [Gate of Wisdom].
Unlike the pseudo [Gate of Wisdom] I made by using a golem, it is a solid wall that is all the stronger the greater the potential there is to answer it, blocking the way forward.
And, as expected, the squirrels wouldn’t be able to destroy the wall so long as the answer wasn’t impossible, however—
“Kehma, there was a [Gate of Wisdom].”
“Yeah. I figured it’d be impossible for the squirrels to break through it.”
“Huh? They just went through it like normal though?”
… Before I even saw the question, Rokuko already seemed to have answered it.
What the heck, man? I didn’t get a turn?
“Eh, what kind of question was it?”
“It was just a quiz though? A multiple choice one. I just answered it three times.”
Idiot. Sure, you’d be able to get past them if you could just answer as many times as there are choices.
But the people usually doing the answering were adventurers, and they’d only have a single chance.
However, this is a Dungeon Battle. We can try it as many times as needed. Rokuko went about it with brute force, sacrificing two noble squirrels to figure it out without even having to think about the question.
We still had over a hundred and thirty remaining, so that wasn’t even a drop in the bucket.
Moreover, the contents of the question were apparently something to do about customs specific to the Demon King Faction’s culture. Although it was something that could be understood if one studied their customs, adventurers—people who generally wouldn’t even know their own people’s more nuanced customs—still had a chance of making it through since it was multiple choice. Therefore, it just barely fit the prerequisite of being a [Gate of Wisdom].
“Nkyuu’re so awesome, Rokuko! Nkyuu threw away those squirrels without even thinking about it!”
“Fufufu, I am an excellent Dungeon Core, after all! I’m even in 182nd place! 2nd among the 600 series!”
She had come a long way from her position in last.
“If anything, it’s his fault for making it so that each attempt only took a single squirrel.”
“He probably assumed that it would be attempted by either a solo invader or an entire party… that’s just how the Demon King Faction is.”
… Still though, it’s beyond being just anticlimactic. Even though we rented a hero to act as our defense against a 500 series core, as far as the rabbit dungeon is concerned, maybe we could stop with the alarm? If it takes longer than usual and the alarm doesn’t stop, he might go out to look for the cause. If Wataru goes all the way in to find the source of what’s going on, the situation could take a turn for the worse—that is, become annoying.
On the other hand, our dungeon exploration had been advancing faster and faster. We’d already made it through the first five floors and were heading into the sixth. Even Aidi had calmly made her way through the dungeon and had just arrived at the [Gate of Wisdom].
Looking at the open door, she took a look at the question.
[What is a human ranch’s… hmmm. So it was that kind of question. I can’t see someone not in the Demon King Faction knowing how to answer this, but… Rokuko, you knew how to answer it?]
“Fufufu, this will be an easy victory if you just rely on me.”
[Well! Perhaps you were interested in me and looked more into it? Rivals wanting to know more about each other is natural, I’m happy.]
“O-Of course! Fufun.”
Yep, you just raise the troubling flag of being questioned by the Demon King Faction at some point, Rokuko.
“Oh, we just found a Boss Room on the sixth floor. Time to shine, Aidi!”
[Fufu, leaving it to me?]
“I’ll do it myself if you don’t hurry up, you know~”
[Okay, okay. I do want to see you fight, Rokuko… but there’s no way I’m going to turn down a fight.]
Having companions that are strong combatants is great.
Just then, I looked over to Meat, who seemed as if she had something she wanted to say.
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Meat?”
“… Could I… go and fight, too?”
“No, please keep focusing on controlling the swarm for now.”
While I could rely on Meat for everyday things, this was a Dungeon Battle.
I could rely on Meat being able to control a hundred squirrels, so I wanted her to take an active part by doing that.
Just then, something happened in the Boss Room.
“Huh? What happened, Rokuko?”
“Umm, sorry. It sort of died. We’re heading into the next floor now.”
“So… what sort of boss was it?”
“A black minotaur. It said something about being one of the Four Kings or whatever, but it went down after suffocating it by filling its throat.”
Oh. So she went with the suffocation strategy I used against Haku-san, huh.
Still though, I guess there’s no helping it against minotaur. That was the only way she knew how to defeat them. She did nothing wrong. I guess the dark part of its name meant it had the darkness attribute or something, but it was its fault for it dying just from having its throat filled up.
“Nkyuu, so Four Kings means there’re three more bosses?”
“Pretty sharp there, Orange. That’s what I figure.”
“Oh, we’re already at the next floor. It’s like there was practically only a Boss Room on that floor? I wonder if the next three floors will be the same?”
It seemed as if there was only a rest room and a Boss Room on the sixth floor. Due to that, we’d already found the seventh floor’s Boss Room as well.
… I guess it’s going with the trope of having each of the Four Kings on the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth floors respectively, with each floor just having a boss fight, followed by Core No. 564 lounging on the final floor?
It’s definitely a Boss Rush, but doesn’t that make exploration unnecessary? Wait. Can’t I just leave the rest to Aidi?
“Alright, how about we take a look at what the next boss from these Four Kings is like? I didn’t get to see that last one.”
“Right. Meat, Ichika. Each of your send thirty to go scout it out.”
“I-I’ll send ten too, nkyuu~!”
If we don’t have to do any exploration from here on, it’d probably be fine even if we used up the rest of them, wouldn’t it?—is what I thought to myself as I decided to lean back and relax as they took care of everything for me.
When the squirrels scampered there way into the Boss Room in succession, what they saw was—a ghost.
[We—…. welcome! I am one of the Four Kings, Hinille the Wrathful!]
Stumbling over its words somewhat, the ghost spoke to the squirrels.
No, it was probably more accurate to say that it was talking to us through the squirrels. If not, it’d have to be one lonely ghost to be talking to a group of squirrels like that.
[Tonde was an idiot among us Four Kings… but I did not expect him to have been defeated in such a manner! However, that will not work against me, for I am a ghost!]
… So our opponent’s a ghost, huh. True, it’d be a bit much to expect squirrels to handle that.
“Everyone, retreat to the break room!”
[Huh? H-hey, w-wait! Where are you going!?]
Rokuko made a snap judgement and had the squirrels quickly return to the prior room in an orderly fashion.
[Running away!? Do not think you can escape from me, you beasts, for I can move through walls!]
With that, the ghost gave chase.
And so it chased them into the break room—
—leaving the Boss Room without a boss…
“This one’s an idiot.”
One of the groups of squirrels, having divided into two separate groups, lured the ghost away while the other group quietly snuck through the now-vacant Boss Room.
… If it was a solo invader or a party of adventurers, they’d very likely have had a good bit of trouble with this ghost for an enemy since it could pass through walls and exit the Boss Room, but for us, well… Did he just ignore the fact that this is a Dungeon Battle? Or did he not even consider the differences…?
Well, we can just leave the ghost to Aidi and her magic sword to defeat it. Now to just keep advancing~
As expected, the next floor also immediately lead to a Boss Room. The third of the Four Kings was within.
[You did well to make it past Hinille. I am one of the Four Kings, Natsuno the Sorrowful. However, I would much prefer to not die by having my throat blocked by squirrels, so I shall allow you to pass through! Please don’t kill me!]
The third of the Four Kings was a succubus, but she refused to fight.
Shouldn’t this have been where she’d say she would fight to her dying breath…? Dungeon monsters aren’t supposed to ignore orders, oi.
[… Honestly, I have no chance of winning… I could charm as many humans as needed, true, but squirrels… and a swarm of them, at that…? Oh, I’m actually a monster that came from outside of the dungeon, so I don’t have to follow orders. Rather, I’d even like to revolt. So please, feel free.]
W-Well, there’s no reason for us to kill her if she’s going to be like that. We accepted her offer and made our way through.
… Still though, revolt, huh. I guess that sort of thing could happen, too.
She saw us off through to the next floor with a smile.
So the next floor will be the last of the Four Kings, huh. Surely there won’t be five of them or anything stupid like that, right?
With that, we arrived on the ninth floor. The floor with the fourth of the Four Kings.
“For you to reach it this far… never would I have suspected it possible. I am the final member of the Four Kings, Mushi of Comfort! Your pitiful strategy of filling your enemies’ throats will not work against me, as I can transform into a swarm of bats! Now come! I shall tear you apart with these claws and fangs of mine!”
Vampire! It’s a vampire!
Indeed, his throat would unmistakably be fine since he can transform into a swarm of bats.
Unlike our vampire, it’s unlikely he had the zero attack strength option applied to him, so he’ll be a strong enemy.
“Hey, Kehma. Between a swarm of bats and a swarm of squirrels… which is stronger? I mean, they’re indoors.”
“… Want to give it a go?”
I started to root for the vampire, honestly.
This vampire was supposedly the strongest member of Core No. 564’s Four Kings, so he should at least have the option to be able to turn into fog or become a wolf or something applied to him as well… right? They wouldn’t leave him with just the whole bat thing… right?