Alas, after struggle, I am finally done!
Oh how happy I am!
I must admit that it was fun.
The rhyme here sucks, which I do admit.
But I finished this chapter!
So to boast please do permit.
Anyways, please do enjoy this, though it took a while.
And let me sleep.
Since I’ve got work left–and it’s quite a pile.
Crappy poetry aside, I apologize for the delay.
Founding Demon Capital Arc
100. Underground Labyrinth
After finishing the meeting with Fuze, I headed back to Tempest.
I can move to any previously visited location via『Spatial Travel』you see.
It does use up some magic energy, but my reserves are so vast that I don’t even feel it.
So it’s a super useful skill that lets me transfer to places without any detriment.
When I neared the city, Gerudo contacted me via telepathy.
(We seek your immediate guidance, Rimuru-sama!)
What could be wrong?
With that thought, I transferred to Gerudo.
In a leap completed in a single moment, I head towards Gerudo. It truly is a very useful skill.
Not that I’m going to appear right by his side, rather I am going materialize in the near vicinity.
If necessary, I could appear exactly on a desired spot, but this time let’s transfer a little further away.
Well, in fact, since it’s a place I’ve visited before, I don’t actually need to focus on transferring to the individual.
And at this point it’s easier to move towards him by foot.
Gerudo was at the tunnel that Veldora had blown up.
Pieces of demon steel were spread across the landscape barely obscuring the ruined tunnel.
I had ordered it to be restored, yet no work seems to have been done.
I wonder why?
Gerudo seems to be arguing with somebody.
「I’m telling you~! We’re now occupying these tunnels!」
「Even if so you say, we have not recognized your claims.
Please allow me to consult Rimuru-sama first.」
「No way! Can’t you see, we’ve abandoned the labyrinth?!
Are you seriously planning on making us homeless?」
「No one is saying that. By the way, stop trying to sneak demon steel out of here.」
「Tch. How sharp! Don’t sweat the small things, or my Beretta will–Wha!!」
Erasing my presence, I successfully captured Ramiris.
And looked her right in the face.
No question about it, it’s Ramiris.
「What the hell are you doing?」
「Y-yahoo! What’s up, Rimuru?」
Averting her eyes, Ramiris greeted me.
Even without asking, I know exactly what she was planning on doing.
She’s planning on claiming the demon steel and connecting the tunnel into the labyrinth.
She’s said something about building an entrance around here before, after all.
「So, you were planning on building a labyrinth here and you were discovered by Gerudo?」
「Eh… no, there’s now way… I think. Maybe…?」
「In other words, I’m right. Seriously…」
She tried laughing the matter off.
Looking around, there’s a clear need to reclaim the resources and repair the land, I thought.
But, maybe it’s a good idea to have her build the labyrinth here after all?
I mean, think about my last conversation with Myormiles.
We want people to continuously revisit Tempest.
But, perhaps not every day, but at least every season.
So, is there something we could do that would attract people that often?
For example… how about we create a dungeon (labyrinth)?
This might be a good idea.
I look at Ramiris. Without a care, she’s just smiling at me.
She’s a little… no, she’s very unreliable, but maybe she’ll manage.
Steeling myself, I expressed my proposal.
＊ ＊ ＊
It’s very simple, really.
I’ll have Ramiris create a labyrinth and act as it’s manager.
And we’ll thus have the labyrinth generate some profit.
Ramiris will live there, and I’ll get some pocket change.
Of course, this idea requires her complete support, but she doesn’t seem opposed to it?
In fact, when I disclosed the plan,
「Eh, eh? In other words, I can make a labyrinth here?!
…Actually… could this be a chance to finally dispel that horrid nickname: NEET?!」
Opening her eyes wide, she exclaimed.
Well, I did think of it more as a joke though.
「U-umm… it is true that I can earn some money this way?」
Swallowing hard, she asked me with a serious expression.
She’s probably afraid that I’ll change my mind.
Though there’s no way I would. Well, not like all my promises are enforceable, though.
「I’m serious. But, I wouldn’t know how much profit we can make until we try it…
Well, there will be related expenses, so how about 20% of the profits?」
「Umm… how much would that be?」
「Well, if a thousand adventurers visit in a single day, you’d be getting 2 gold coins.」
「Geh!! S-s-such a f-f-fortune?!」
「Well, actual earnings might be higher or lower than predicted.
And since you need to build a place to live anyways, you don’t suffer as a result, right?」
She violently shook her head.
In the first place, had she built the labyrinth anywhere she wanted, she would still have to maintain it.
So there was nothing disagreeable about this.
She hugged me tightly out of joy.
Since both parties seem satisfied, this will become another project that I will oversee.
Adding Gerudo to our discussion, we polish out the details.
First, we have overnight plans to lay a road from the city here.
It’s a trip that wouldn’t even take half a day.
We had chosen this place as it was on the outer perimeter of the city.
About 10 km away, I’d like to say? Once the road is done, we also plan to build a stable nearby.
We had wanted to lay rails to transport people and baggage from here.
Since letting horses and magic beasts into the city would lead to new hygienic problems.
Reclaiming the demon steel is necessary for that goal, but I can just prepare some more.
Since it’s relatively close to the city, an inn here would unlikely bring many customers.
So, we decided to build a motel instead.
But if we will build a labyrinth here, then an inn would be in order.
If they wanted to truly relax, they could always come back to Tempest. It’s a good idea to keep work housing and home separate.
And if we build a labyrinth here we are bound to attract some adventurers.
It might be a good idea to also service the carriages coming to and from the Dwarf Kingdom and the (ex) Farmas Kingdom.
Drawing up the plan, I have Gerudo confirm it.
He finds it acceptable.
Moreover, the site of our battle with the knights is only a few steps away.
Two kilometers towards the city, where a number of roads intersect, is the planned site of the arena.
It’s relatively close to the city, so we expect the guests to walk there.
Unlike our world, people tend to walk here.
It’s unimaginable to not walk a round trip of less than 20 km. They also follow the early to bed, early to rise policy.
So if we hold the tournament from 10:00~15:00, that should give them enough time to make the trip.
As for the staff, we can probably have them stay at the inn.
Having thus agreed with Gerudo, we moved on to discussing the arena blueprint.
After talking to Myormiles, I finally envisioned how I wanted it to look.
Normally, I would spend hours in front of my laptop creating the plan, but now I can do it by hand.
Raphael really is useful at these minor things.
Accepting my design with a “No problem”, Gerudo left.
When I looked at Ramiris,
「Uhehe… now even I will be making money, huh.
Gone are the days when I was made fun of as the Poverty Demon Lord!」
Is she tripping? She seems completely lost in her world.
Well, I guess she’ll be fine.
She’s been significantly ridiculed up until now.
Though who has heard of a demon lord in want of money?
(TL Note: “in want of” means to lack)
Though more than money, not working is the problem I believe…
True, Ramiris’ Labyrinth was rather devoid of… people.
She was probably really bored and really lonely.
I really hope adventurers show up. For Ramiris’ and my sake.
Dragging Ramiris back into reality, we go over the detail of the labyrinth.
Ramiris is showing a determined face, the likes that I never have seen from her before, and is ready to go.
I had five questions for her.
- How many floors can be constructed underground?
- How many days would it take to finish?
- What about the monsters inside?
- Can interior layout be altered? Further, can treasure chests be set up?
- In case of death, could we set up a system where they are reborn on the surface?
Is what I asked.
Here’s what she answered.
- There’s no limit, but realistically, at most 100 floors.
- It’s possible to finish in a day. Thanks to species-skill『Labyrinth Creation』it can be created in a single moment. The interior aside.
- Whatever we wish since Spirits inhabited the previous one, they did not spawn. But, if magic concentration falls, only weak monsters will spawn.
- It’s possible. Actually, customizing the interior is one of the functions of her skills. It’s also possible to create a rotation of floor patterns, but only one floor at a time. If not the structure but the interior–that can be changed relatively simply.
- It’s possible. But, you would have to wear a special item created via『Labyrinth Creation』
Is what she said
「Wonderful! It’s wonderful, Ramiris-kun!」
「Really, like really really? Am I really amazing?」
「Yeah. Now our ambitions have overlapped!」
「Really? I was just thinking the same thing」
We nodded at each other.
「I’m looking forward to working with you, Ramiris」
「Yeah, I’ll be in your care. Joining a large organization is like riding a big ship. It’s reassuring」
Big ship, huh. Let’s hope we’re not the Titanic.
Since our sizes are different, we couldn’t really shake hands but we were one in spirit.
I decided to have Ramiris take the demon steel scattered around.
Since it seems that she will make something really useful.
We continued to exchange ideas regarding the design and concept of the dungeon.
While being very merry.
Me and Ramiris “being merry” and discussing the dungeon.
To say the least, our conversation went into a weird direction and we drafted out a design of a super advanced dungeon.
Next is production.
As Ramiris declared, it will easily be done by tomorrow.
So promising to come visit, I return to the city.
I need to have Kurobee hand over all those test armors and weapons that won’t be seeing the marketplace any time soon.
「Is this fine, Rimuru-sama? These articles are imperfect and can hardly be used by the average person.」
「Nah, it’s fine. I’ll leave these aside to receive the spirit’s blessing and have them soak up some magic energy.
They might become magic items, you see」
「Is that so. In that case, do as you see fit」
He said and took out the products from the cellar.
I accepted them and expressed my thanks.
However, to think that he had so many trial products.
At some point, he had added a hundred items to this list. There are full sets here as well, and all of these items are far better than what you would find being sold in a store.
But, as Kurobee mentioned, these are imperfect items to which the user could never adjust to.
So these can hardly be called tools.
But in exchange for sucking up magical energy and converting it into raw strength, the user can temporarily obtain unbelievable physical power.
Well, it’s not like you should only use it if you have a death wish, but only a fool would use an untested product.
Not that I’d take responsibility for that, though.
So what should I do about this product line?
I’m actually playing on putting it into treasure chests inside the dungeon and having special monsters guard these.
To think I would have a chance at a real life dungeon creator… this is too exciting.
Well, it is true that just auctioning these products off would bring a lot of gold.
Actually, that might be the best option.
But, that’s no good. What’s most important is the ongoing advertisement of Tempest.
If they see the beauty of our city and feel it’s charm, surely they will come again.
Honestly, when I told Ramiris that she can create an entrance to her labyrinth, I originally intended it to be in the middle of the city.
But, I soon realized the benefit of having a tavern town for adventurer’s convenience.
Equipment and the like should be bought up in the city.
Just think about how much money will be spent. Even if we stock up ahead of time, we’ll probably run out.
With the money left over for maintenance and purchase of raw material, we can probably offer sales for return customers.
That way, the adventurers will speak of us among themselves and Tempest will certainly gain fame.
Moreover, it’s probably a good idea to keep the citizens busy.
The Tournament will probably be held at most twice a year, but we’ll certainly hold other events.
Military drills, adventurer tests.
So we’ll definitely put all these buildings to use. And the dungeon will certainly draw even more attention.
Thus, having assembled all these parts, I have finally decided to gain the one being necessary to make it all work out.
Veldora’s in my room.
He’s grown very accustomed to it.
「Hey, Veldora, I’ve got a favor to ask of you.」
「Hmm? Can’t you see that I’m busy?」
Yeah. You’re reading manga.
And clearly have nothing to do.
「I see… that’s too bad. And, I was just about to offer something fun to do.
If you’re busy, it can’t be helped. I guess I’ll just ask Diablo」
I said, and pretended to leave
「Hey, wait up. I’m busy, but I’ll listen to your request.
Hook, line, and sinker.
How easy to manipulate he is.
It’s as easy to manipulate this old geezer as taking a candy from a baby.
But that aside,
「The thing is, we were thinking about building a dwelling for you.
Ramiris and I were talking about it, and she’s currently building it.」
「W-what did you say?! Seriously?
But, why did you call it a favor?」
Whether he’s deeply interested or not, he has a serious look on his face.
Seriously… too easy.
I told Veldora about the Dungeon plan.
「So the thing is, we need a king to rule over the dungeon.
Ramiris will supervise it. And, on the 100th floor we’ll create an entrance leading to the spirits’ labyrinth.
We need a strongest guardian to protect this gate.」
「I see… and you want me to do it?」
「Exactly. And while in the labyrinth, I want you to constantly flaunt your aura」
「Seriously? It’s okay?」
Frankly, I don’t care at all about the guardian.
What I want is Veldora’s aura.
If he releases it around here, it will so densely concentrate, that normal people won’t be able to survive.
But if he keeps it in too long, releasing it will create an explosion like last time.
So it’s probably not a good idea to keep it in that long. So there’s a need to release it.
Which means, that we needed to find a place for him to do so…
The cave of the seal could not completely restrain all of Veldora’s aura.
That’s why I had the dungeon be made 100 floors deep and once he freely release his aura.
And it’s true purpose…
Once the magic concentration increases, monsters will naturally spawn.
As it trickles upwards, the upper floors will certainly be occupied by small fry with strong beings further in.
Even the cave had A- ranked Tempest Serpents spawn.
Just what kind of monster will he spawn now, I can’t even begin to imagine it.
Perhaps another intelligent slime will spawn among them.
So Veldora releasing his aura will only benefit us.
Killing two birds with one stone, essentially.
「… And when I see adventurers,
『Kuahahaha, you have done well coming this far! Let me welcome you, insects!』
or something like,
『Kuahahaha, you can’t run away from me. Didn’t you know? You can’t run away from the Storm Dragon!』
And fight them, right?」
He’s completely into it by now. He didn’t seem to into it in the beginning, though.
「Moreover, it would also be possible to face entire units of adventurers.
It’s like, a Real Simulation Game, you see.
How about it? Doesn’t it sound fun?」
Veldora stood up, and put the manga in his pocket.
And facing me,
「As expected of you, Rimuru. I always knew you could do great things」
He said, and shook my hand.
Thank god he’s an idiot.
And thus, I have (with great difficulty?) recruited Veldora.
The next day.
Veldora and I went to see Ramiris.
As she promised, the labyrinth was completed.
「Yo, Ramiris, you doing good?」
「Ah, master! It has been a while. I am in perfect health!」
These two are friendly as always.
Ramiris was already sitting on Veldora’s shoulder by the time they began the exchange.
And after exchanging greetings, we got right into the explanation.
As I had wanted, the labyrinth was created via a number of blocks.
That was, once every few days we can change its layout.
Every ten floors we have set up save points.
Upon reaching this point, the next time you enter you can continue from where you left off.
To that end, we had decided to grant licenses to adventurers to use magic teleportation circles.
Selling maps is probably too evil. It’ll also be a pain to make new ones every day.
And let’s not forget about the most important item.
The charm made by Ramiris’『Labyrinth Creation』
It will only work once.
Any death that occurred in the labyrinth will be negated, and the user will be returned to the surface.
It will activate ten seconds after death has been confirmed.
There’s also an emergency escape item that returns the user to the surface.
These safeguards we plan to sell at the entrance. Whether they buy these or not is their choice.
But if you don’t but it and die… you only have yourself to blame.
I, personally, would definitely buy it.
As for the price, we can decided that later. For now, all done.
Hopefully this will all end as well as we want it to.
There are still many things left to implement, but that’s for later.
We exchanged glances, and laughed like the villains we are.