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Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist, Editor: Krizzeir
Chapter 4: Let's Raise the New Demon Lord, Part 3
「That sums up the report on the Devil King and the best method of fighting him.」
Tilting his head as he listened to her words, he couldn't take hi eyes of Sofia who was playfully climbing all over Lilu's body while she giggled happily.
「Seems like you've grown quite accustomed to handling children huh?」
「Oh, trust me, I had a lot of practice with Mari. And Alice. And Larcy. And Ana. I didn't like it at first, but after a while I just got used to it.」
That much was true. Throughout the years, Lilu proved herself to be the best caretaker for the children that Aur made with the members of the Figlia royal family. Taking care of the children wasn't her main occupation in the Dungeon of course, but once she started doing it everyone just kind of rolled with it. Besides, it might not have been one hundred percent of the time, but when she was with the kids, she looked like she was genuinely happy.
「Do you think that Sofia could be a valuable a.s.set in the battle against the Devil King?」
「Hmm, let me think.」
She picked Sofia up and gazed at her with a serious look.
「Right now, after a month she went through about three and a half years' worth of growth. If this pace continues, she should be seventeen years old in just five months. I think by then she'll be useful in the battle against our opponent, and she is sure to become a stunning beauty.」
「And what was that last one supposed to mean?」
Aur dropped his shoulders at that conclusion.
「Wait, did you say three and a half years?」
Something seemed off to him so he raised his face.
「It is a rough estimate in comparison to the normal children, and individual differences are also a factor here…」
「But wasn't she already a three year old child back then?」
By back then, he meant one month ago, right before Tatsuki attacked the Underwater Dungeon.
「Yeah, she was. But she just grew up some more since then.」
「And you didn't inform me about it, you imbecile?!」
Aur had no time to only devout his attention to overseeing Sofia's growth, hence he did not realized that she grew that much again in the span of just one month. I mean sure, there were some pretty obvious signs, like the fact that she learned how to walk on her own or became better at articulating words, but he thought that it was nothing special or unusual, just like with the other children.
However, if you thought about it carefully, such a rapid growth rate was indeed very strange. Aur couldn't help but think that there must've been some reason behind such an accelerated growth.
「Was it a natural growth, or did it had something to do with magic?」
Lilu pointed at the small Dungeon Seed next to the big Dungeon Seed. Now it was acting as a storage tank for the magical power drawn from the seawater of the Underwater Dungeon.
Words were not needed, because it was obvious with just one look that the reserves of magic stored within it were scarce. It was not even comparable to the amount that could normally be taken from the dragon veins. This small amount was what was left to fuel their daily life needs. Aur used a lot of magic to rejuvenate all the inhabitants of Tena's village and to build a big bathtub, and effective management of the amount that was left was a daunting task left entirely in Lilu's hands.
「What if it's not a problem related to magic?」
「What do you mean?」
Unaware of the seriousness of the discussion, Sofia rampaged merrily in Lilu's arms.
「Yes, yes, little fruitcake, just give me a moment.」
Smiling somewhat bitterly at her, she let her down on the floor, and she rushed straight to one of the walls.
At the same time, the wall she was running towards opened like a door, and Sophia jumped into the arms of a blonde-haired girl that walked through them.
「I'm home, sweetie. Thanks for watching over her, Lilu.」
Mari lowered her head slightly to express her grat.i.tude.
「You see that, just a moment ago she was all over me, but now she clings to Mari like some kind of glue. I swear, kids these days….」
Lilu voiced her complaints half-jokingly.
「Just now, she noticed Mari's presence before she even entered here.」
When Aur patted her on the head, she grabbed his hand with her own, and extended the other one to Mari. As she patted her mother's golden hair, her smile shone so radiantly that it was somewhat painful to watch.
「It looks like even if you get separated, she won't have any problems finding you as long as it'll be within the boundaries of the Dungeon.」
「You took notice of that even earlier than me.」
Since Aur was the Dungeon Master, that was the bare minimum required of him. However, even with all his privileges as the Dungeon's creator, he was not almighty when it came to governing it.
Even Aur could not monitor the full extent of the Dungeon by himself. It is a task that would exceed his human capabilities, similar to knowing the exact number of stones that made the entirety of the place. Surveying the Dungeon required immense amounts of concentration; it is not a job that could be carried out while devoting yourself to other tasks.
As they were busy talking, Sofia climbed back on top of Lilu and grabbed her by the horns. She did that with natural, fluid movements that no one even showed her before.
Suddenly, Aur thought of something. He kept his eyes on Sofia as he put his hands to the ground.
「Can you do what I just did?」
When he lifted his hands off the floor, the stones rose as if they were chasing after his hands while they glowed with magical power, forming small towers.
「Yup, can do it!」
She nodded happily and raised one of her hands. And when she did, the floor around Aur suddenly rose.
If he tried to hurriedly jump back now, he would have crushed his back into the rapidly raising wall.
Along with the wall, the floor rose up, lifting him into the air.
The trees began to grow in the s.p.a.ce she formed, and the small groove she created was filled with water accompanied with a lot of noise.
Amazed by everything that has happened, Aur noticed a small ma.s.s of something that looked like a toy ball.
This was everything that he wanted to know. If mastered properly, that power of hers could be really useful in the future.
「The accuracy leaves a lot to be desired, but the rest is good enough I guess.」
When he left the small hill of greenery that Sofia created, he approached the ma.s.s that he saw earlier and kneeled to pick it up.
「Now what exactly is this?」
Lilu also flew to Aur's side, but even when she gazed at the thing, she still had no idea what that might be.
「Do you still not understand? This is the proof of Sofia's growth.」
But Aur knew very well what that was. The making was childish but the positions and numbers of objects were all matching perfectly.
「This is Inada, Tena and Yutsu's village.」
When he said so, Lilu finally noticed. It was an extremely childish work, but it was a model of the entire dungeon.
「Sophia must think that the village is also a part of the Dungeon, hence this miniature model.」
In order to reveal Tena's hidden motives, Aur slowly took control of the entire village of Inada. He made an underground pa.s.sage, connected it to all the houses and covered it with brick. That was the pa.s.sage that Tena was traveling through in her dreams. So it really would not be a stretch to say that the village has really become a part of his Dungeon.
「But… although the magical power has not increased, does it mean that she is growing by spreading the Dungeon further?」
This was undoubtedly a matter of magic. It is true that magic can make impossible possible, but this was just too much.
「Impossible, plain impossible. Ever since coming here, I've encountered so many things that defy knowledge and common sense.」
Sofia's existence was hard to understand in the first place.
「Her growth is synchronized with the dungeon, and she can control and reshape is as freely as I can, maybe even better. There is only one possible explanation.」
Aur lifts Sofia and examines her thoroughly.
「She is the personification of this Dungeon itself. Made by me and named by Mari. So that makes us her father and mother.」
Thinking that they were just playing, Sofia laughed loudly.
Strengthening the labyrinth would be the same as raising her as a normal child. But if done correctly, she could also turn to be a pretty powerful weapon at their disposal.
「Let us make you into a splendid future Demon Lord!」
With that said, Aur raised Sofia high into the sky.