A Demon Lord’s Tale: Dungeons, Monster Girls, and Heartwarming Bliss
An Event in the Forest
Editors: Joker, Speedphoenix
She panted heavily as she desperately pushed herself forward . She was completely out of breath . Her legs felt as heavy as lead and refused to do as she told them . Pain assaulted her as the surrounding plants scraped against her skin each time she forced her way past them .
Still, the sorrow and fear that filled her heart drove her to continue . She was so focused on escaping that she was able to put everything else behind her .
Her destination was wherever her legs would take her . She had no idea where she was supposed to go or how she was supposed to get there . All she knew was that she couldn’t let herself get caught, that she had to flee the encroaching despair at her back .
“Shit!” The rugged-looking man that was chasing her stopped right at the forest’s edge . He clicked his tongue and swore, but dared not venture inside . “This ain’t good . The stupid brat’s gone an’ scrambled ‘er ass into the Wicked Forest!”
“The fuck is wrong witchu, man!? Why’d you go and drive ‘er in there!?” An equally rugged-looking but slightly shorter man, the first’s partner, raised his arms in an expression of frustration . “Bitch, we gun’ get our asses beat ta high heaven if we let the goods git away!”
“Bruh, we ain’t recoverin’ dat shit . You think I’mma ‘bout to hit up the Wicked Forest? Aw hell no . I’mma gun’ get my ass fucked twice as hard if I do . Hell naw bruh, I ain’t down . I ain’t givin’ that damned ancient dragon anymore booty . Heard that bitch ass been more active lately for some god forsaken reason . Shit!”
“Tsk . ” The shorter man clicked his tongue as he grumbled . “Bitch ass brat, makin’ trouble for us ‘n shit . ”
Though the child in question had heard the men, she wasn’t able to make out what they were saying . All her focus was directed towards her escape .
“Hah! Rarghh! Aaaahhh!”
A series of splatters rang throughout the forest as I tore through a group of monsters . I shouted each time I swung my blade—a decision I wholeheartedly regretted . The third and final creature erupted into a fountain of blood as its head was torn from its body . As it was angled towards me, the geyser covered my face in crimson and filled my open mouth with a rancid, irony fluid .
“Oh god! Gross! It got in my mouth!”
I spat a few times to get the blood out of my mouth before swinging the blade a few times to clean off the bits of flesh and gore it was slathered in . Though I’d only intended to behead it, the thing that sat in front of me was mutilated beyond recognition . I couldn’t even tell its genus anymore, let alone its species .
Frankly put, my stats were ridiculous . My specs were so disproportionately scaled that they blew my enemies’ minds . Literally . Though I was using a sword, almost every monster I hit exploded from the force of my strikes . My attacks crushed my enemies and transformed them into disfigured corpses .
Ugh… Why the hell does this have to be so gruesome? I can practically feel my sanity stat take a hit every time I kill something .
My idle complaints were, well, idle complaints . I knew exactly why I wasn’t getting the clean cuts I so desired . It was a combination of several factors . The first was my skill with the sword, or rather, my lack thereof . I’d never truly done any swordplay . High school was the last time I’d touched anything that even remotely resembled a bladed weapon, as my high school’s gym class featured kendo from time to time . The sword I was using wasn’t really helping either . I was using one of the cheapest weapons in the dungeon’s catalogue . Not much could be said for its craftsmanship or efficacy .
Playing around with the weapon had gotten me the Sword Arts skill . I could feel that it was indeed helping, but that was it . It was still just level one, so its effects were basically negligible . More importantly, I was a total amateur . I had no idea what I was doing . My ability to use a sword was so pathetic that not even the skill’s meager padding did much for me at all . In fact, Lefi had called me out and asked me if I was playing some sort of game when I tried swinging it around for practice’s sake . Worst of all, her comment wasn’t one made out of malicious intent . She was genuinely curious . The whole situation was so pathetic that it made me want to curl up into a ball and cry .
Through combat, I finally learned the value of my innate skill, Magic Eye . I hadn’t truly understood what it meant to be able to see the flow of someone else’s magical energy until I was subject to a magical attack . Only then did I realize that the skill allowed me to discern when monsters were getting ready to cast their spells . It told me how their magical energy was flowing, where it gathered, and even the locations they were targeting before their magical bombardments fully materialized .
I’d actually used the skill to dodge a powerful spell just a few moments earlier . I was able to quickly move out of the way of an earth based spell that caused spikes to erupt from right under the target’s feet, impaling and instantly killing them . I was sure I would’ve died without Magic Eye’s assistance . I couldn’t have possibly seen it coming otherwise .
The combination of my innate skill’s efficacy and my dislike for gore led me to all but decide that I was going to become the type of demon lord that specialized in magecraft . My eyes provided me the ability to sling long ranged spells at my opponent while dodging theirs with ease . The advantage I had in such a scenario was just flat out unfair .
Yeah, I really don’t like actually hitting things with my sword . The sensation of the blade striking flesh is unpleasant, and all the blood gets my clothes wet . Close quarters combat is way too gruesome and unsanitary for my tastes . It’s just… blech .
Speaking of magic, I’d recently become totally inept at fire magic . Creating a lighter-like flame had been easy for me when I first started, but I could no longer produce anything more potent than a flickering, weak flame, the size of what you’d see on the end of a matchstick . Apparently, my last experience had led me to think fire magic to be something dangerous . My brain had started unconsciously suppressing it so I wouldn’t hurt myself, and there wasn’t really much I could do about it .
I was a bit miffed that I’d effectively thrown one of my more potent affinities down the drain, but I didn’t mind it too much . I didn’t need it . I still had a strong affinity for both earth and water, and I was getting significantly better at both . I was already able to control the temperature of the water I created . All in all, my magic was still a bit on the weaker side . It wasn’t of much use in combat quite yet, but that was fine . I would only get better with time .
“Alrighty . Looks like this section of the map’s fully fleshed out . ” I continued playing around with the menu as I started to move .
Like many others before it, I’d spent most of the day exploring and examining the dungeon’s surroundings so I could further expand my territory . I wasn’t actively hunting monsters . I only fought those that I happened to come across along the way . All my expansions had led down from the dungeon’s entrance; I was slowly taking control of all sections of the mountain that lay beneath my cave . My current income had already become a whole three Lefis worth of DP each day .
That said, I was almost always flat broke . I blew all my DP on dungeon expansions every single time I had enough . I was really excited to see how my territory would end up once I was finally done taking everything nearby over .
“Wait, what’s that?”
I felt like I saw something out of the corner of my eye, so I directed my gaze away from the open map and checked my peripherals . Turning to the left, I immediately saw the thing that’d grabbed my attention . At first, I couldn’t make out what it was . All I could tell was that it was some sort of creature, and that it’d collapsed in a bush .
A sticky red liquid garnished its body . It was clearly heavily injured . In fact, it was covered in so much blood that, at first, I’d assumed it to be some sort of corpse . As I had already made the surrounding area a part of my dungeon, I glanced to the right and checked the map, only to find that it was marked as an intruder—that it was still alive .
Curiosity got the better of me, so I approached it while keeping up my guard . Only after closing in did I realize that the thing was a young girl . She was covered from head to toe in blood and collapsed face first in the dirt .
I immediately ran over and gave her a quick checkup . She had a pulse, but she was unconscious . The deep claw shaped wound on her back seemed to indicate that she’d been attacked by a monster . The gash was deep, it didn’t look like she was going to live for anything more than just a few minutes .
Fortunately for her, I happened to have a potion on hand . I opened up my item box and grabbed it . The life-saving fluid was contained in a small bottle; there wasn’t too much of it . Uhh… I think I can just pour it on her, right?
The bottle hadn’t come with instructions, but Lefi had briefed me on its use a bit earlier, so I knew what to do . I popped off its lid and carefully started to dribble its contents over her wounds . I took excruciating care not to miss a drop . Despite being a deep laceration, her injury began to close at a rapid pace the moment the liquid so much as touched her . She regenerated so quickly I almost felt it disturbing .
“Nrghh…” The girl began to stir after I used about half the bottle . The cuts were flat out gone and her skin had been restored to a soft, glossy state, as one would expect from a child . Her breathing, which had started off shallow and ragged, had returned to normal .
Whew… Looks like she’s out of danger . I heaved a sigh of relief after confirming that the girl had made it, finally letting out the breath I’d held since I began her treatment . The process of healing her was so exhausting and nerve wracking that cold sweat had formed on my brow, so I promptly wiped it off with an unsteady hand .
As demonstrated by the little girl, the high class potion I’d just used was extremely effective . It allowed the person it was used on to regenerate limbs much in the same manner as P*ccolo . It could repair a giant gaping hole in one’s stomach without much difficulty even though such a wound would otherwise be fatal .
Holy shit . You could probably use this thing to just rush things down without a care for how much damage you take . You could even turn a soldier into what is effectively a zombie if you just keep using these things… That’s kinda terrifying .
Lefi was the only reason I actually had the potion on hand . She told me that it was better for me to hold onto one just in case, as, although my stats were high, I wasn’t exactly the strongest thing around . Her warning was a fair one, so I’d heeded it even though the potion was a bit expensive . Never thought I’d be using it like this though . I guess Lefi really does give good advice from time to time . I should probably treat her to chocolate or something when I get home .
Still, that girl’s in awful shape . Her clothes are torn and ripped, and her pretty blonde hair’s all disheveled . She’s got a lot of injuries, and most of them don’t look recent .
A single glance was enough to tell me that the young blonde I’d just treated had experienced her fair share of misery .
“Either way, I guess I should probably take her home . It’s not like I can just leave her here, after all . ”