Subordinate and Support
[However, don’t blame me if the information spreads among all Dungeon Cores.]
“… Eh, as long as he doesn’t actively spread it, I don’t mind.”
Which is how I came to receive two Boss Spawners. I figured it’d be fine for me to say it.
[Alright, could you tell No. 564 the reason he lost?]
“Sure… to put it simply, [A dungeon strong against adventurers is not necessarily strong in Dungeon Battles]. The number of enemies you’ll be up against is just too different.”
[… You are certainly right. No. 564 likely would have won if it were just Aidi and a few others.]
“Exactly. You’d obviously deal with a small group very differently than you would an army, right? That was the biggest mistake.”
[Father] nodded along. Core No. 564 listened on in silence.
Maybe I should say a bit more? I did get two Spawners, after all.
“This might just be something peculiar to the Demon King Faction, but you just didn’t prepare enough forces. There is power in numbers. Even if they’re individually weak, as you’ve seen, once they move together systematically, they can become a threat. That said, there is a certain knack to have them move properly… Is that enough?”
[Perfect. Thanks, Kehma-kun. So, No. 564, understand now?]
“Y—… yes, Father. It is quite… understood…! ”
Prostrating himself, Core No. 564 gave his answer. Something was off about the way he responded, but eh, whatever.
He said he understood and [Father] said it was enough, so deal complete! Anything else has nothing to do with me.
“I was surprised too, Rokuko. I never would have thought that squirrels could be so useful.”
“Fufun, this is one of Kehma’s tactics—human wave tactics. They weren’t humans though.”
Rokuko stood next to Aidi as she bragged… I’m the one that came up with it… eh, oh well. She’s my partner, after all.
[Now then, let’s see if No. 6 and Haku would like to say something… Let’s start with Haku. Anything to say?]
[Oh. Allow me, then.]
With that, Haku-san stood in front of the monitor. Core No. 6 clicked his tongue even though he was in [Father]’s presence, was he annoyed at not going first? They really must be on bad terms.
[Hmm, right… Kehma-san, good work. I will deliver that strong mind bracelet later. It is one Otou-sama specially made, so it’s even stronger than the one Wataru wears.]
[As promised, I will allow you to hug Rokuko.]
Oh yeah, that was a thing.
“Onee-sama! Can’t we kiss?”
[No. I wouldn’t mind it one time if you kissed me a hundred times, though?]
What a self-serving person.
“I’d like to duel Rokuko, too.”
“Huh? No way. If you kiss me when we aren’t sisters I’ll have a kid!”
Umm. What? And wait, are duels equivalent to dating for the Demon King Faction? Besides, isn’t she a magic sword-type core?
[And for you, No. 629, now named Orange. You may contribute your services to me as Kehma-san’s subordinate from here on.]
“Hahaha~! Nkyuu! I look forward to working with kyuu, Kehma!”
And now I have a subordinate. I didn’t do anything though?
[Alright, now for No. 6.]
[Hrm. First, Aidi, splendid job. As expected of my grandchild.]
“Thank you, Jiji-sama.”
Core No. 564, still prostrating himself on the floor, trembled on the other side of the monitor.
[… You have disappointed me. Even if there were three cores, you were brought so low by three of the 600 series… You will keep your life, but you are hereby expelled from my faction.]
[P-Please, wait! What should My Glorious Self do from now on!?]
[Like I know? You are no longer under my protection. Do what you will—ah, however, I forbid you from calling yourself part of the Demon King Faction or a user of the Demon King Style. If you violate this ban, you will immediately be crushed. Do not forget this.]
Saying this, Core No. 6 was done.
Core No. 564 was speechless. He’d probably have a hard time from here on, but, well, good luck?
… With that, [Father], who was smiling for some reason, spoke.
[Oookay, so No. 564. I’ll give you two choices.]
[F-Father! P-Please, anything.]
[First, you can live on as you are as a Dungeon Core. Eh, basically it’s the do nothing choice. Second, you can choose to be Orange’s Support Core. What do you think?]
Orange’s face started to scream that he didn’t want him. I mean yeah, even if he said he’d support him right now, he might start teasing him from here on.
[… What do you mean, Father?]
[What? I just said it, do you want to support Orange as the reward? Orange is a rabbit-type core, so he’s lacking in offensive power. I figured you’d complement him well in that. If it’s an issue of being too close I can just Dualize you two, how about it?]
He has a point to what he was saying, but Orange just kept shaking his head back and forth as if to say no, no, no, no, no.
But what’s that Dualize thing? Linking? A connection? Dual Cores?
[Father. What is Dualize…?]
[Oh yeah, you don’t know about it, huh? It’s when a single dungeon is managed by two cores that are connected together, but Orange would be the main one, you’d be like his support.]
[… My Glorious Self would have to be under that rabbit?]
As No. 564 stared into the monitor, Orange dashed to hide behind Aidi.
“Ohoh, No. 564. You lost against Orange in the Dungeon Battle, a rabbit and a kicked dog, how fitting.”
“Noooo! I don’t want to pair up with a guy like hiiiiim!”
[It’s alright, Orange. Supporting cores can’t act against their main cores, they can’t even harm them.]
Isn’t that basically slavery?
“Save me, Kehmaaaa!”
“… What if he only came when called? I mean, what if you treated him like an ace up your sleeve to save you in a pinch?”
“Nkyuu! So like a mercenary? … That might be fine.”
[Ugugu… U-Understood. It is disgraceful, but My Glorious Self, as the loser, am in the wrong. Father, please…—make me Orange’s support.]
[Good choice! Now I just have to get him a Master and we’re good.]
With that, Core No. 564’s fate was decided. Since it could be said that he’d effectively entered Haku-san’s faction, Haku-san’s expression was a bit complex after having said that she didn’t want the trash of a core. Come to think of it, Orange is my subordinate, and Core No. 564 is Orange’s, so wouldn’t that make him… seriously…?
[Okay, good job, everyone!]
It felt like [Father] was the most pleased of us all. The heck.